Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship
A congregation of Mennonite Church USA
Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship
the OWL

December 8, 2013

Berkey Announcements | Our Schools | Community Announcements | Classifieds

Berkey Announcements

Advent Season

The Nativity of ChristO, the Mystery of God's Dwelling is the theme for Advent through Epiphany worship this year. Our worship services will explore this theme of mystery and God's dwelling with us and in us. We invite you to ponder the meaning of the Christ event for you during this season. As part of our dwelling with God and God with us, we also want to dwell together in fellowship and community this season. We invite you to come at 9:00 a.m. and enjoy coffee/tea and fellowship with your sisters and brothers. At 9:25 a.m., we invite you to enter the sanctuary and dwell in the image of The Nativity of Christ, an icon created by Michele L. Hofer for this worship series, that will be projected onto the screen in the sanctuary. We hope the icon and the prelude will help you to enter the mystery and awe of Christ's coming into our world.

Sunday School Notes

Sunday SchoolWith our relatively new starting time of 9:30 a.m. rather than 9:00 a.m., there has been some confusion about when Sunday School is to begin and end. Typically our worship lasts until 10:45 which allows for Sunday School classes to begin at 11:00 a.m. and end at noon. However, if worship ends earlier than 10:45 a.m., a verbal announcement will be made by someone from the Christian Education Commission clarifying start time for Sunday School. Music will play indicating start time and ending time each Sunday.

Materials and Resources Available

BooksThe Christian Education Commission is in the process of cleaning out their storage spaces.  There are various copies of many different books and resources that have been used for adult Sunday School classes during the past decade or so.  These books are being offered to anyone who is interested. The books are located on a table in the Fellowship Hall along with a basket for donations.  Any money donated will be used to help fund the purchase of future Sunday School materials.

Prayer Shawl Small Group

KnittingRuth Hathaway and Laverne Nafziger are starting a Small Group to knit Prayer Shawls.  The group will meet at Laverne's home, Tuesday, December 10th at 4:15 p.m.  There will be a light supper together after our knitting. Kindly RSVP to Laverne Nafziger.

Handmade Jewelry and Goods For Sale

Beaded BowlsOn Sunday morning, December 15, Elijah and Priscillah will be offering jewelry and other handmade crafts for sale from their home community in Kenya to raise funds to help offset unexpected and seemingly unjust bill they received as part of their immigration green card application process.

Mark your Calendars for a Night of Singing!

CarolersThe Mission Commission has scheduled a night of Christmas caroling on Thursday, December 19, to spread the Christmas spirit to shut-ins and others within our congregation.  Plans are to meet promptly at the church at 6:30 p.m. to arrange for carpooling and directions to homes.  Persons young and old are invited for an enjoyable night of singing and fellowship. Following caroling, all are invited back to the church for refreshments.

Jubilee Hall Celebration

Jubliee HallWe're celebrating the end of our Jubilee Renovation Project! On December 8 during the fellowship break between worship and Christian education, we invite you to bring finger food snacks to mark the successful completion of our Jubilee renovations. Gluten-free and dairy-free snacks will be provided, along with drinks.

Animate: Faith Sunday School Class

Animate: FaithCome ponder, reflect on, and discuss topics of faith in the Animate:Faith class. Each week we will watch a DVD portion with one of these leading voices, spend time in personal reflection and journaling (the journal will be provided: a donation of $15 is suggested), and engage in conversation. Marilyn Rudy-Froese will facilitate this class. This week, Lillian Daniel explores the topic of Religion: Spirituality is not Enough. Learn more and hear excerpts.

Throwback Thursdays

Throwback ThursdaysHead on over to our Facebook page for a photographic collection of our early history -- complete with difficult to recognize building features, incredible hairstyles and clothing, and who knows what else we will dig up! Play along and see if you can spot anybody you know, and don't forget to like our page if you haven't already!

Our Schools

Bethany Christian SchoolsBethany Christian Schools

Christmas Concert

Bethany Christian High School will hold its annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December. 13, in Goshen College’s Sauder Concert Hall. Come hear choral and instrumental groups as they celebrate the birth of Christ in music and join them on stage for their concluding song “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

Bethany Christian Schools Alumni Day

Bethany alumni (and their families) will receive free admission to the Saturday, December 14, boys and girls basketball games and are eligible for prizes. The girls varsity-only contest vs. Canterbury begins at 2:30 p.m.; the boys games vs. Lakeland begins with JV at 6:00 p.m. followed by the varsity.

BCS Seeks media center coordinator

Bethany Christian Schools invites applications for the full-time term position of media center coordinator. The position will begin when it is filled and is expected to be available for most or all of the current school year, which ends June 2, 2014. For details and application procedures, see

Goshen CollegeGoshen College

Pizza and Parables

All Youth Groups are invited to join Parables, a Goshen College student worship team, for an evening of free pizza, music, original drama, and sharing from students’ faith journeys. The event is Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Pizza and conversation in the Goshen College Music Center Lobby will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Parables program will be 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in Rieth Recital Hall (also in the Music Center). We hope you can join us. Watch for more details on a post card in early January. Please let us know if you plan to attend by calling (574) 535-7780 or emailing by Friday, January 24, 2014 and leave an estimated number of youth who will attend.

Student Art Sale

Goshen College will be hosting a Student Art Sale on December 10th from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Union Lobby. The United States and world turns to overconsumption more than ever during the holiday season. Rather than purchasing products that have traveled long distances, students of Goshen College will be selling homemade items and pieces of art in order to promote buying locally. Items ranging from jewelry, to knitted scarves, reusable coffee sleeves to ceramics or CDs. You can do your holiday shopping or just browse for fun, everyone is welcome!

Afternoon Sabbatical: Music of the Season

Come out to Sauder Concert Hall in the Goshen College Music Center on Tuesday, December 10, at 1:00 p.m. to hear Music of the Season, featuring Fairfield High School directed by Ben Kambs and the Advanced Crimson Choir of Goshen High School directed by Marcia Yost, Music Center Executive Director.These two state ranked choirs will present a delightful variety of the choral music of the season. Selections will range from the traditional to the unusual and from the sacred to the secular. The groups will combine together for a final selection. This program is free and open to the public. For information or questions phone 535-7565 or email

AMBSAnabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

AMBS recently joined the Seminary Stewardship Alliance, by invitation, and found affirmation for how much we are already doing in sustainable construction and habitat restoration. We also are taking new steps, such as supporting the local food pantry by expanding our garden and planning a conference on Christian faith and land for next fall.

Community Announcements

LaCasa Open House

On Sunday, December 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., LaCasa will hold an Open House at the new Westplains Apartments.  These units are meant for chronically homeless individuals who receive services from Oaklawn.  All of LaCasa programs will have displays and personnel who will be able to tell you about what we do, from the Aging in Place grant, Financial Capabilities Classes, the MoneyPro Club to the future of the Hawks Building, they want to answer your questions. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please call (574) 533-4450.

All You Need Is Love Women's Conference

Register, donate toward scholarships and check out the tentative schedule. "All You Need is Love," taking place February 20-22 in Leesburg, VA, will wrestle with theology, diversity, and the complexities of Christian love. The theme was chosen to both playfully acknowledge the way love is brought to the forefront by Valentine’s Day in February, and also wrestle with the complexity of love as an element of Christian faith. February is also Black History Month, and one of the primary commitments of the conference is to work at undoing racism and advancing intercultural transformation. Learn more.

Mental Health Conference

Conference on Faith Communities and Mental Illness"Creating Hope: The Power of Faith Communities in Mental Health Recovery" is a one-day conference that will take place January 15, 2014, in Chicago, IL. Hosted by Pathways to Promise and others, this conference will present ways that faith communities and people engaged in mental health recovery can work together to educate their communities about mental illness and equip them to develop supportive, caring responses. The cost of this conference is $25. Learn more.

Goshen Community Chorale Presents Handel's Messiah

Goshen Community Chorale is pleased to present Handel's Messiah on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. at College Mennonite Church in Goshen. Admission is free, though a free-will offering will be taken.

Housing Choice Voucher Program Event

The Goshen Housing Authority invites organizations and church representatives that serve the Goshen community to attend this event to learn about the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The briefing session will explain the requirements, rules and regulations for a family to receive rental assistance.  We hope that with this information you can assist your clients in filling out pre-applications for housing help. The event will take place Thursday, December 12, from 8:30 a.m. - 10:00  a.m. at Goshen City Church of the Brethren (203 N. 5th Street).

United Way Reading Camp at Goshen Community Schools

In partnership with United Way of Elkhart County, the Goshen Community Schools will again be offering Reading Camps to 20 children at Model, Waterford, West Goshen, and Parkside for 8 weeks (February 5-March 28th, 2014). The children attending Reading Camps will be 2nd graders in need of extra reading and language arts practice. Reading Camps will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (You may commit to one or two days or substitute on predetermined dates). Volunteers of all ages are needed, willing to spend one hour per week reading with a child. All volunteers will be given a limited background check and will participate in a training session to be held the last week of January. Learn more.

Emma Mennonite Church Christmas Programs

Emma Mennonite Church's Men's Chorus will give two special Christmas programs on Sunday, December 8. North Goshen Mennonite Church (501 N Eighth St, Goshen) will host the first event at 2:30 p.m., then at 6:30 p.m., the group will sing at their home church in Emma Town (1900 S 600 W, Topeka). Finger food will be served following the 6:30 p.m. program. For directions or for more information, go to or call 260-593-2036.

Give Joy to the World

Sixty years ago, MEDA’s founders were inspired to share of themselves to help people struggling in poverty in Paraguay. They believed that every person has the right to an opportunity to earn a livelihood. Today, we continue in their footsteps. And we invite you to share the joy you experience at Christmas by reaching out to your neighbors in developing countries around the world. Learn more.



Have something to sell, rent or lend?  Want to buy or borrow something? Looking for a job or wanting to volunteer? This is the place to have it be known!

Do you have skills in the building trades and maintenance and a desire to put your talents and gifts into a ministry committed to helping people connect with God, with creation and with each other? Amigo Centre seeks a Maintenance Director to assume responsibility for the maintenance and care of Amigo's grounds and facilities. This full-time year-around position gives opportunity to utilize building and maintenance skills while working with a committed and caring staff and connecting with guests and campers of all ages. More information is available at or by calling Cliff Brubaker at (269) 651-2811. Amigo Centre, located near Sturgis, MI, is a 400 acre year-around camp and retreat facility which belongs to the Indiana Michigan Mennonite Conference.

Getting to Know

Our Stephen Ministry Team

Marilyn Rudy-Froese

Marilyn Rudy-Froese
Marilyn Rudy-Froese is known to you as one of the pastors here at Berkey, but she also serves as a Stephen Leader. As part of the Stephen Leader Team, she serves as the Referrals Co-ordinator, meeting with people who might be interested in receiving the care of a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministry is one-to-one lay Christian caregiving. We started training in the Fall of 2012, and are in our first year of providing care. When she isn't in her role as Stephen Leader or pastor, Marilyn enjoys spending time with her family, reading mystery novels and quilting.

Whether you are new or a charter member, we are continually learning to know each other and we want to get to know you more. It can be very simple, your name, what you do for a living and what you are interested in. You can view our newsletter archive for some examples. Interested in being featured? Let us know!

Did You Know?In the mid 2000s,Cindy Baker and Lois Mast did an MYF quarter titled "The Promise of Pain." During the quarter, a number of people in the congregation came and shared personal reflections on experiences of loss or sorrow and their relationship with God in and through these experiences. At the end of the quarter, each youth created a ceramic tile mosaic piece. Gabe Baker then took those pieces, broke them, and used them to create the sculpture that is now outside the MYF room. The sculpture represents how we, in our individual brokenness, are transformed into communities of grace and beauty by God's love and healing.

Sculpture by Gabe Baker
Do you have an interesting fact about Berkey to share?  Let us know!

We will no longer be printing and distributing calendars each month.  They are however, available for download.
DownloadDecember Calendar

This Week
December 8: Jubilee Hall Renovation Celebration, 10:30 a.m.
December 11: Stephen Ministry, 6:45 p.m.
December 11: Caregiving Commission Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
December 11: MYF Cookies, 7:00 p.m.
December 12: Prayer Shawl Small Group, 4:15 p.m.

CalendarView Events Calendar

PrayerPlease contact the office by 9:00 a.m. Thursday with prayer requests.

Please keep the Anita and Dale Snyder family in your prayers as Anita’s father, Robert Maust of Goshen, has been diagnosed with cancer.  Family and hospice will be caring for him over the next few weeks.
Due to the onset of winter and the holidays, requests for assistance reach a peak this month in the nonprofit agencies for which Mennonite Mission Network’s Mennonite Voluntary Service participants work. Pray that the 57 MVSers in 17 locations will continue to serve their host communities with love and patience.

DownloadDec. MMN Prayer Vine

Church Notes
Sunday Service Info
This Sunday: December 8

Jim Brenneman, Diane Beam, Sara Alvarez
Anita Mounsithiraj
Offering Counters: 
Ron Good, Rick Hostetter
Matthew Williams, Lana Smucker

Next Sunday: December 15

Jim Brenneman, Ginny Martin, Armand Martin
Anita Mounsithiraj
Offering Counters: 
Lowell Nafziger, Denise Risser
Matthew Williams, Lana Smucker
Statistical Report 
(December 1)

Attendance: 191
Bethany Tuition: $865.00
General Fund: $5,847.02
Building Improvements: $250.00
College Matching: $1,020.00
MCC Relief Kits: $223.00
Coffee: $211.50

Berkey Avenue
Mennonite Fellowship

2509 Berkey Avenue
Goshen, IN 46526
(574) 534-2398

Office Hours
8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.

Dan Schrock
Marilyn Rudy-Froese
Lois Stoltzfus Mast

Greg Smucker (Chairperson)
Roy Bergey
Lee Roy Berry, Jr.
Shirley Dick
Jan Shetler

Renae Yoder (Chairperson)
Doug Baker
Laura Horst
Richard Miller
Copyright © 2013 Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, All rights reserved.