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

December 7, 2014

Berkey Announcements | Our Schools | Community Announcements | Classifieds

Berkey Announcements

Thank you

Thank youThank you, Denise Risser and Meredith Yoder! The GIHN closet has experienced a complete organizational makeover, thanks to Denise. There are now new curtain valences in all the Sunday School rooms, thanks to Meredith.

Advent Candles

AdventFamilies with young children will find an Advent Candle in their mailbox from Christian Ed. Commission. The candles are numbered to 25. Light the candle each day to burn off one number at a time. We encourage you to use this candle as a meal or bedtime ritual to read a scripture passage, say a prayer or sing a song together as you await the coming of Christ into the world.

Christmas Caroling

Christmas CarolingOn Wednesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m., the Mission Commission has scheduled an evening to sing Christmas carols to homebound persons in our church community and to others as time permits. The MYF has decorated cookies to distribute at each stop.  All are invited to join in singing. Light refreshments will be served when we return to the church. To help in planning, please sign the sign up sheet posted on the church bulletin board no later than Sunday December 7th if you are planning to attend.

Creation Care Class

creation care ss classDuring the winter quarter (December-February), Jennifer and Dan Schrock will be teaching a class on creation care using the new curriculum "Every Creature Singing: Embracing the Good News for Plant Earth." Each session blends biblical-theological perspectives with circle conversations which focus on our community within 5-25 miles of the church building. This approach seeks to transform environmental problems from one big, hopeless morass to many small, manageable problems. Participants in the class will develop a greater love for our community and know how to make it better. You can see the curriculum here, and you can bring a tablet or laptop with you to class since the curriculum is online. Our classroom is at the end of the hallway off Jubilee hall.

More Sanctuary Chairs

more chairs for the sanctuaryThe Coordinating Council is offering the congregation an opportunity to buy more new chairs for the sanctuary and to replace at least some of the older brown chairs. These new chairs will be identical to the 107 chairs that are currently in the front of the sanctuary. Our chair fund already has about $5,110, enough to buy 36 new chairs. The Council is accepting further donations into the chair fund until the last Sunday of January. Learn more.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback ThursdaHead 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

Goshen College Bethany Christian Schools

Shop Ten Thousand Villages

On Thursday, December 11, Ten Thousand Villages in Goshen will donate 20 percent of sales to Bethany Christian Schools. Your loved ones will enjoy the creative handcrafted gifts you purchase and artisans will receive vital, fair income as you support Bethany. Store hours for this benefit are 3:00-7:00 p.m.

Christmas Concert

The annual Christmas concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 12, 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. There will be a reception following the concert in honor of retiring head of school Allan Dueck.

Alumni Night and Recognition for Jim Buller

Bethany alumni will receive free admission and be eligible for prizes at the boys and girls evening Holiday tourney games on Saturday, December 20. Jim Buller will be recognized in between games for his 35 years of coaching. A reception will follow the boys game. Girls game begins at 6:00 p.m. and boys at 7:30 p.m. Note that the  alumni night does not include the morning games of the Holiday Tourney and takes the place of previously-scheduled alumni games on December 16 and January 3.

Goshen Community Schools - volunteers Needed!  Goshen Community Schools

Volunteers Needed!

In partnership with United Way of Elkhart County, the GCS will again be offering Reading Camps to 20 children at each of the following elementary schools for 8 weeks (February 4 - March 26, 2015): Model, Waterford, West Goshen, Parkside and Chandler. 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).  We are looking for volunteers of all ages, who would be willing to spend one to two hours 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.  For more information, or if you are interested being a volunteer, please contact Michelle Kercher or call (574) 535-3086.

Goshen College Goshen College

Student Art Sale

Interested in supporting local artists this holiday season? Come to the GC campus on Tuesday, December 9th between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to attend the Student Art Sale! A variety of artwork will be sold, including scarves, ceramics, and greeting cards. The sale will be held in the Union Building (the same building as the Welcome Center) and takes cash or check only.

A Festival of Carols

GC presents its tenth annual A Festival of Carols, ushering in this sacred season with music by four choirs and the Goshen College Symphony Orchestra, and with gathered audience participation in traditional carols. Performances are December 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and December 9 at 4 p.m. Reserved seating tickets ($15) are available now online or by calling the GC Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566.

AMBS Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Can traditional Anabaptists change to embrace Neo-Anabaptists?

Greg Boyd, in his post on The Circle blog, calls traditional Anabaptists to pursue three challenging goals in order to join the movement God is raising up, a "movement crosses national, ethnic, cultural, and denominational lines. Learn more.

Witness at Stewart Detention Center and SOA

From November 21-23,Ted Koontz, professor emeritus of peace studies and ethics; students Sandra Stevens, Taylor Dwyer-Zeman and Katerina Friesen; and Matthew Brown, a friend of AMBS, joined hundreds of other activists and organizers in peaceful protests against the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., and the School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Ga. People within the AMBS community offered prayer and funding support to help them participate in these witnesses to God's peace, justice and reconciling mission in the world. See pictures.

Community Announcements

Shop Christmas at Goshen Farmers Market!

Priscillah and Elijah Metekai invite you to shop at their booth setup at the Goshen Farmers Market. We have intriguing handcrafted gifts; Jewelry - (earrings, Necklaces, bracelets) beaded baskets, placemats, scarfs, dry banana fiber prints and other incredible art from Kenya. Your purchase gives women in Kenya an opportunity to earn income and strengthen their communities. The Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. December Dates are the 6th, 13th and 20th.

Give a kit for Christmas!

The gift of a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) kit is a gift of joy…with some assembly required. MCC urgently needs 2,000 relief kits, 8,000 hygiene kits and 2,000 blankets. Multiple situations of crisis around the world such as Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Ukraine have depleted MCC’s warehouse inventory. Please help MCC replenish its supply to continue responding to needs 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!
 Mennonite Mission Network seeks a full time traffic manager in the Marketing and Communication department in the Elkhart, IN office.  The Marketing and Communication traffic manager is responsible for coordinating the flow of work to ensure that projects are completed on time, and works closely with members of various teams to ensure that work flows efficiently through the agency. If you are organized, love details, can manage multiple tasks and enjoy a creative atmosphere this is the position for you.  Experience in Microsoft Office a must.  Spanish language ability and familiarity with Microsoft Project and SharePoint is helpful. View the full position description, or contact Linda Krueger, Human Resources Coordinator.
 Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is seeking Location Coordinators for Serving With Appalachian People (SWAP) program site in Hindman, Ky. The Location Coordinators are responsible to coordinate week-long service opportunities for young people and adults as SWAP works to provide housing repair for low-income individuals and families. View the full job description. Individuals interested in this position should send a letter of intent and current resume to by January 5, 2015.


Did you know
Did you know about Mary's portrait in the sanctuary?
Did you know anything  about the portrait of Mary in our sanctuary?
This is a portrait which i drew for an art class last year. This work was drawn in charcoal on cardstock, and was inspired by a photograph. I started this piece shortly after Malala Yousafzai published her memoir. My original intent was to combine her love for drawing eyes with her curiousity about women in the Middle East. I had seen articles and social media posts on both sides of the hijab and burqa debate, some saying that they found these garments degrading to women and others saying that they found them empowering. I knew of many other issues faced by women around the world, and wanted to explore the complexities of these issues through an artwork. As a result, I created this portrait. 
More recently, I have been working on the Advent worship planning team here at Berkey and took on the role of planning Advent visuals. In thinking about the many different emotions and mysteries of Mary and writing several of the Mary reflections which you will be hearing in worship this Advent, I was reminded of the complexities portrayed in this artwork. Mary's situation brought her surprise, confusion, joy, hope, and sorrow. There was nothing straightforward about it, and as we dive into Mary's story this Advent, we are surrounding ourselves with her mystery. I decided to use this portrait as a visual representation of Mary's humanity and the complexity of her story. I hope that as you look at it, you will be increasingly able to engage with the person of Mary.
~ Jenae Longenecker, first year at Goshen College


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

DownloadDownload Calendar

This Week:

December 7: Dessert Thank You,
December 13: JYF Activities

CalendarView Calendar Online

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

Rejoice with John and Ruth Roth who are delighted to be grandparents again to a beautiful new granddaughter, Ruth Frances. She's the daughter of Sarah and Luke Roth-Mullet from Hesston, Kansas. She was born on Tuesday, December 2, three weeks earlier than they expected at 7 lbs. 10 oz. Baby and mom are doing well.
 Pray for the parents of Model School children, for those who are unemployed or underemployed, for those who struggle to make ends meet, for those who are trying to balance the demands of home and work. In this season of Advent, may the light of Christ shine on them and the peace of Christ surround them.
Pray for Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Elkhart, IN (Pastors: Terry Zehr, Amy Kratzer, Melissa Fisher Fast). Pray for their new after-school tutoring program being offered on Wednesday afternoons to local elementary school students. May God bless the learning and relationships experienced by volunteers and students alike.
Alfonsina Oyanguren, who serves in Argentina with Mennonite Mission Network, has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She has to travel 800 miles for surgery and a treatment regimen. Pray for peace and healing for Alfonsina. Pray also for her husband, José, and their four children as they miss Alfonsina at home.

DownloadDecember MMN Prayer Vine

Church Notes
Sunday Service Info

This Sunday: December 7

Joanna Epp, Pat Darling and Richard Miller

Lois and John Mast

Mathew Williams & Jenae Longenecker

Infants: Evie and Dan Nafziger
Toddlers: Abby and Allan Rudy-Froese

Offering Counters:
Greg Smucker

Next Sunday: December 14

Lisa Short, Renae Yoder and Denise Risser

Lois and John Mast

Mathew Williams & Jenae Longenecker

Infants: Lisa and Darin Short
Toddlers: Rebecca and Simon Smucker

Offering Counters:
Ron Good and Rick Hostetter
Statistical Report 
(November 30)

Attendance: 148
General Fund:  $5020.85
College Fund: $870.00
Bethany Tuition: $915.00
Chairs: $600.00
Model School (potatoes): $30.00

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

Greg Smucker (Chairperson)
Roy Bergey
Shirley Dick
Sherm Kauffman
Elizabeth Miller

Doug Baker
Richard Miller
Laverne Nafziger
Judy Weaver
Copyright © 2014 Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, All rights reserved.