As 2013 draws to a close, we thank God for a remarkable year as a congregation. May you and those you love experience the joyful mystery of God's incarnation in Jesus. ~ The Pastoral Team
On behalf of the Agape Fund committee, we'd like to thank everyone for their generosity in contributing to the fund that meets the needs of those in our congregation who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty. Through your generosity, we have been able to respond to current needs, and are in a great position to respond to future needs. Additionally, the treasurers would like to remind you that bank will not accept foreign bills and coins, and to please make sure that you place American currency into the offering. Thank you.
Sunday School Notes
With 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. Please note that there is no Sunday School this coming Sunday, the 29th.
Head 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!
Bethany Christian Schools
Students and faculty at Bethany sent a care package of over 100 cards and other gifts to librarian Margaret Fisher, who is on medical leave as she undergoes treatment for lung cancer. Those interested in following Margaret's journey can visit her CaringBridge web page
Last September, Student Senate launched a peer-to-peer mentoring program designed to build bridges between upperclassmen and underclassmen on campus. The idea emerged during conversations about social divisions with Jan Zawadzki, a German international student who graduated in April. Learn more
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Sara Wenger Shenk, AMBS president, shares a prayer for all in her Christmas message: "May we all be guided by the tender mercy of God-with-us into the way of peace. Christmas love to all from AMBS." Read more
The Church and Business Doing Kingdom Work
Join us on Thursday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Belmont Mennonite Church (925 Oxford Street, Elkhart) for "The Church and Business Doing Kingdom Work." Pastor Larry Rohrer and a business leader in the Belmont congregation will dialogue over how one incorporates their faith and values in the business world, and the role the church should play in that setting. This presentation anticipates a sabbatical study next summer of the same nature. Pastor Rohrer will describe both congregational and personal dynamics which led to the pursuing of this theme. Kindly RSVP by Monday, January 13 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling (574) 355-3607. (If you don’t receive a confirmation email or phone call, please let us know.) Meal and program costs are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.
Menno-Hof Winter Events
Menno-Hof has again planned a winter series of events for the months of January through April 2014 titled “Coffee, Cookies and Community: Part II.” The first event is January 19, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at Menno-Hof. John D. Roth, professor of history at Goshen College, will speak on the topic, “A Cup of Cold Water: Service in the Amish-Mennonite Tradition.” Sometimes people have described the Amish and Mennonites as “separatist” groups. Yet, we also believe that followers of Jesus are called to share God’s love with others in tangible and visible ways. From the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement in the 16th-century, service to others has been a central part of our understanding of Christian faith and practice. Drawing on lots of examples, this program will summarize the theological and historical basis for our commitment to service. Bring cookies to share, coffee will be provided. RSVP is requested as seating is limited; call (260) 768-4117.
Witness Through Storytelling: A Women's Spirituality Retreat at Merry Lea
Women of all ages are invited to Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center on the evening of Friday, January 31 through Saturday, February 1 for a weekend getaway that will include time outdoors, time to reflect on biblical texts related to nature, guided contemplative prayer and storytelling workshops. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes, Karla Minter, and Janie Beck Kreider will provide input. The retreat will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening and end mid-afternoon on Saturday. After the hectic holiday season fades, this retreat aims to provide spiritual rejuvenation and spark creative, worshipful expression. Come, bring a friend, and enjoy delicious food, creative workshops, crisp winter hikes, time to relax, and insightful input from the presenters. The cost of $45 includes two meals and lodging; $25 students. To register, email Janie Beck Kreider at email@example.com
. The registration deadline is January 21. Learn more
Season of Giving
As we reflect on the many blessings this past year has brought us, we also look at passing on some of our blessings. Year-end giving opportunities abound. Here are several options to choose from:
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
You can honor someone you love with a gift to AMBS. Send your gift online and print out a card that tells someone how this gift honors them. Strengthen the church you care about through the mission of AMBS: preparing leaders for God's reconciling mission in the world. Earn a tax deduction for the year. Indiana residents earn an additional tax benefit with gifts to institutions of higher education in Indiana--such as AMBS. GIVE NOW
Mennonite Central Committee
Your gift of hope makes it possible for MCC to partner alongside communities, meeting basic needs and working for peace and justice. Your generosity changes lives where needed most, bringing new opportunity to people around the world, such as this women’s group in Bolpur, India, which is benefiting from agricultural training. GIVE NOW
As you celebrate with family and friends, we ask you to consider including Michiana MEDA – more specifically, the MEDA-run GROW project our chapter helps support – in your year-end giving. GROW
(Greater Opportunities for Rural Women) works to ensure poor working families in northern Ghana have more nutritious diets and better incomes by encouraging women to grow soybeans. We’ve nearly achieve our chapter’s goal to raise $5,000 by January! Thus far, chapter supporters have contributed $4,405. Our challenge: raise $595 yet in 2013. And your dollar stretches even further: the Chapter will donate $2.00 for every dollar (up to $5,000) donated by the end of the year from our reserves. Contributors can send funds designated to the project to our chapter, or directly to MEDA with chapter affiliation noted: Michiana MEDA, PO Box 871, Goshen, IN 46527. GIVE NOW
This Christmas season we want to offer you and your family an alternative to regular gift giving by participating in giving a gift of inclusion to persons and families touched by disabilities. This gift may go even further since we have a generous matching gift of $2,400 to apply to new or increased gifts received in this year. Your gift is a key ingredient in cultivating this type of inclusion that enriches our lives and the life of our congregations. GIVE NOW
Hopi Mission School
Many thanks to everyone who brought Box Tops for Education. This past year over 700 points were processed and sent to the Hopi Mission School located in northeast AZ. Hopi Mission School is a small, private Christian elementary school affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA and American Baptist Churches USA. You may learn more about the school at http://hopimissionschool.com
. Please continue to support this ministry by bringing your Box Tops for Education.
Ten Thousand Villages
Please consider making a purchase from or donation to the Goshen Ten Thousand Villages store prior to the end of the year. We know that many in this congregation are radically supportive of our local store and for this we are extremely grateful. Currently, Elijah Metekai and Darin Short are on the board. As well, we have had numerous Berkey members who have served on the board or currently work as volunteers. The store would benefit, though, from any additional support you can provide this year since sales have declined and costs have increased. This is not a make or break year but as we review recent trends and look to the future, additional support would be welcomed as we assess our overall strategy and identify necessary changes in 2014. Donations can be made payable to: Ten Thousand Villages, 206 S. Main St., Goshen, IN 46526. Thanks for considering. 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!
Are you looking to live out your faith by using your gifts in another country? Serving and Learning Together (SALT) is a unique year-long cross cultural immersion experience with MCC for Christian young adults (18 to 27 years old) from the United States and Canada. Participants live with local host families, serving in a variety of assignments with partners in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and Central America and the Middle East. Learn more about the program or apply online by February 15 at www.salt.mcc.org
. You can also contact Darlene Dintaman at the MCC Great Lakes Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (574) 534-4133 for more information.