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

December 15, 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. We hope the icon and the prelude will help you to enter the mystery and awe of Christ's coming into our world. We hope you have found it meaningful to reflect on The Nativity of Christ. If it would enhance your reflection to know what the artist, Michele L. Hofer, had in mind in creating this icon, the Advent resources include an explanation of the artwork. Learn more.

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.

Handmade Jewelry and Goods For Sale

Beaded BowlsLast Sunday Elijah and Priscillah Metekai shared about their long struggle to get a green card and about the approximately $8,000 legal bill they've received in connection with that effort. If you want to contribute to their legal expenses, you can write a check to Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship and in the memo line "Agape Fund." You must then let someone on The Agape Committee know that it is for The Metekais.  Please note that if the Metekai name is on the check it is not tax deductible. On a related note, as was mentioned in last week's newsletter, this coming Sunday, December 15, Elijah and Priscillah will be offering jewelry and other handmade crafts for sale from their home community in Kenya to raise funds as well.

My Name is Rachel Corrie

Racehl CorrieRachel Schrock will perform the one-woman play My Name is Rachel Corrie this Sunday, December 15, at 4:00 p.m. at Bethany Christian School.  No ticket is needed to attend the performance.  The play will last about an hour and there will be a time of discussion following the performance.

Thank You from the Derstines

The DerstinesWe have been so blessed by your generosity surrounding Abram's arrival. Thank you for your gifts, prayers, and words of encouragement. It is wonderful to know that Abram already has such a strong and caring community. Thank you! ~ Elise, Adam and Abram

Childcare Request

ChildcareAdam and Elise Derstine are looking for a nanny/baby-sitter for Abram when Elise begins working again in January. They anticipate needing someone 3 days per week, 5 hours at a time (15 hours total). Please let them know if you are interested or know of other childcare resources.

Appreciative Inquiry Congregational Evaluation

TrainIn early November, the Spiritual Leadership Team met with generational focus groups to evaluate and assess its vision, articulated in 2010, A Recalibrated Vision, and to evaluate and assess its goal "to engage each person intergenerationally in the ministry of Christ." There were 5 focus groups: the SLT/elders, representatives from the commissions/Sunday School teachers/MYF/JYF sponsors, and 3 generational groups: 20s and 30s, 40s and 50s, and 60+. Each group responded to these questions:
  • Tell us a story of a time when you were most aware of God's presence and purpose or most excited about your involvement at Berkey Avenue.
  • What are the things you value deeply about yourself in settings outside of the congregation, about being a member/regular attender at Berkey; and what do you value about Berkey?
  • What do you think is the core value of Berkey?
  • If you had a wish for our congregation, what would that be?
Here is the summary of the findings from the Appreciative Inquiry process. At the bottom of the summary are the questions that we asked groups to discuss at the November Congregational meeting. If you would like to add your response to these questions please do that by emailing Marilyn Rudy-Froese or Jan Bender Shetler.

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.

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, Shane Hipps explores the topic of Salvation: Abundant Life Now. 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.

John McCutcheon Concert

Internationally-renowned folksinger John McCutcheon will be in concert at Bethany Christian Schools on March 29, 2014. Reserved-seat tickets are now available to purchase online for Christmas gifting—or for those just wanting to reserve prime seating early. Learn more.

Goshen CollegeGoshen College

Goshen College has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish stronger career counseling, foster student entrepreneurship and promote internships and other experiential learning opportunities at the college. Learn more.

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. 


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 You can also contact Darlene Dintaman at the MCC Great Lakes Office at or (574) 534-4133 for more information.
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
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

Lori Good

Lori Good
I'm from Harleysville, PA, where I lived in the same house until entering Voluntary Service in London, Ontario.  After meeting Ron there, I have lived in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina and 3 different places in Indiana.  My daughter, Rhonda King and family and son, Lance and family all live in Pennsylvania.  I like trying new recipes and am interested in nutrition.  I decided to take the Stephen Ministry training because I did not have a good reason not to, and it has been a good decision.

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? The first worship service happened on July 28, 1979 at Bethany Christian High School. Attendance ranged from 28 to 50 persons during the first few months. That November the congregation moved to the Mennonite Mutual Aid building in Goshen (now Everence), where it met for nearly two years.

First meetings
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 15: Sexuality Committee Meeting, 8:00 a.m.
December 16: Group Spiritual Direction, 12:30 p.m.
December 17: Group Spiritual Direction, 7:00 p.m.
December 18: MYF White Elephant Gift Exchange, 7:00 p.m.
December 18: Stewardship & Finance Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
December 19: Christmas Caroling, 7:00 p.m.

CalendarView Events Calendar

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

Justin Shenk and Valerie Showalter of Mennonite Mission Network request prayer for the Round Chapel where they worship and serve in the East End of London. Pray for unity of vision as members discern how God is calling the congregation to proactive discipleship.

DownloadDec. MMN Prayer Vine

Church Notes
Sunday Service Info
This Sunday: December 15

Jim Brenneman, Ginny Martin, Armand Martin
Anita Mounsithiraj
Offering Counters: 
Lowell Nafziger, Denise Risser
Matthew Williams, Lana Smucker

Next Sunday: December 22

Barbara Eichorn, Eleanor Nafziger, Ruth Hathaway
Nancy & Dick Yoder
Offering Counters: 
Dick Ramer, Karl Sommers
Matthew Williams, Lana Smucker
Statistical Report 
(December 8)

Attendance: 184
Bethany Tuition: $25.00
General Fund: $5,381.78
Building: $5.00
College Matching: $25.00
Mission Discretionary: $500.00
MCC Congo Christmas Project: $181.00
House Rent: $750.00
Agape: $10.00
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
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.