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

December 14, 2014

Berkey Announcements | Our Schools | Community Announcements | Classifieds

Berkey Announcements

College Fund

College fund contribution - thank youThank you for your generous contributions to the college matching fund. We have ample money to pay $500 for each student who is attending a Mennonite college full-time during the spring semester.

Thank You

Thank youWhat a pleasant visit by a group from our church Wednesday evening, singing carols and with a plate of cookies.  Thank you.  ~ D. Richard Miller and Pat Darling Miller

My warm thanks to the group who shared the old, ever new Christmas Carols.  And thanks, too for the plate of abundant and enticing cookies.  ~ Wilma Shank

Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve ServiceOur Christmas Eve service will feature scripture lessons and carols, but with a twist: the lessons will invite us to ponder (cf. Mary in Luke 2:19) the role of creation in God's saving activity. Beginning at 7:00 PM, the service includes a children's story, candle lighting, and lots of singing. The Fellowship Commission will provide drinks after the service.

Coffee drinkers

Menno's Best CoffeeYou can get your coffee fix and benefit Berkey's MYF. We are participating in Goshen College's fundraiser selling "Menno's Best" coffee. For each bag sold, the MYF receives $5 to help fund our trip to the convention in Kansas City next summer. ($1 per bag is also split between MMN and MCC). Come taste a sample and place your order in the fellowship hall on Sunday. We will place orders at the end of each month until convention. You can also order individually online, but will need to pay shipping. For more information (including online ordering) visit. If you have questions, see Denise Risser.

Missing a Peruvian cookbook?

Missing cookbookIf you purchased a cookbook from Gretchen Geyer last week, December 7th, it is waiting for you in the church office.


Nursery Volunteers

Thank youFor those of you who missed it on Sunday, the parents of nursery aged children just want to say thank you again to the many people who volunteer in the nursery as well as the countless other ways that you all support our young families. We are so blessed to be a part of this congregation!

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives MatterLeaders of the African American Christian community have designated this Sunday as "Black Lives Matter" Sunday. The call is for Christians to wear black to worship as an act of solidarity with our African American sisters and brothers. Learn more.
You are invited to wear black to church this Sunday if that would be a meaningful way for you to show solidarity with our African American sisters and brothers. Other things you can do to respond to recent events would be to write to your local and national representatives about your concern for justice in the justice system; engage people of color in your work place, school or neighborhood about their experience living in our community; pray that our streets and communities would be safe for all people, particularly young African American men.

Creation Care Class

creation care ss class The Every Creature Singing class will work with Session 2 of the online curriculum, entitled "Jesus and Creation: In Search of a Whole Gospel." 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. Please download and save the materials before you come. 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

Thursday's throwbackHead 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

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

From Goshen to Ecuador and back

Goshen College Professor of Economics Jerrell Ross Richer and his family are about to embark on a new adventure in January. Jerrell, Jane, and their four kids, Sierra, Naomi, Teresa and Jordan, will be serving with Mennonite Mission Network in Ecuador, where they will live and work in the eastern rainforest region with indigenous peoples and the Ecuadorian Mennonite church. Learn more.

AMBS Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Service Announced to Acknowledge Harm from Yoder's Actions

AMBS board of directors along with the president and administrative cabinet are taking steps to acknowledge institutional responsibility for the harm inflicted by John Howard Yoder’s sexual exploitation of women while employed at the seminary in the 1970s and 1980s, and for seminary leaders’ prolonged failure to intervene effectively. Read more.

Community Announcements

International Potluck

You are invited to an MCC Alumni & Friends International Potluck on Saturday evening, January 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the Assembly Mennonite Meetinghouse, 1201 S 11th St, Goshen. Speakers for the evening will be Dan and Jeanne Jantzi, longtime MCC workers and current MCC Regional Directors for Asia. Please bring a favorite international dish to share (tableware will be provided), and join an informative evening of conversation and connection with the Jantzis. If possible, please RSVP to the MCC Great Lakes office at 574.534.4133 or to to help us prepare for the size of the group.

Shop Christmas at Goshen Farmers Market

The Metekais 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 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!
Oaklawn is currently looking for Mental Health Technicians at the Children's Campus in Mishawaka (High school diploma required),
Social Workers (Licensable Masters Degree, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy or MS in Education - Counseling and Human Services) and nurses (Indiana RN license required and a $2,000 sign-on bonus available). For more information on job opportunities, or to complete an application please visit.
 Maple City Health Care Center, a non-profit organization committed to providing affordable, accessible, and quality care, is looking for three new staff members: a Medical Assistant, a Spanish/English Interpreter and a Billing Team Member. All three positions require Spanish fluency. View job descriptions or contact Pamela Weishaupt or call 574-534-3300 for more information.
 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.


Getting to Know

Lavonne Bixler

getting to know you
I grew up with my mother and two sisters at Wauseon, Ohio.  My father passed away with ruptured appendix when I was 3 months old.  After high school and working in an office for several years, I went to Hesston College and got my AA degree.  I transferred to Goshen College for Elementary Education and graduated in 1961.  After graduation I got married to my husband, Paul, and we moved to Flint, MI to finish his service.  We then moved to Saginaw and attended  Grace Chapel, which is the church that my brother-in-law and sister, Melvin and Lois Leidig, recently started. Paul and I had three children.  We were both teachers and I mainly taught  K and 1st grades.  I worked with low readers in grades 1-3 the last 6 years of my teaching.  I taught a total of 34 years. Paul died of a brain stem stroke on December 12, 2008.  I felt I needed to live closer to relatives who live at Archbold, Ohio and Ft. Wayne, IN.  I moved to an apartment at Greencroft on September 2012. I am involved with scrapbooking and enjoy table games and puzzles. I appreciate the openness at Berkey.  I see and feel a concern and  caring for other people.  I am still getting acquainted with people but I think of Berkey as my church.

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!


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

DownloadDownload Calendar

This Week:

December 14: MYF gift exchange,
December 16: Prayer Shawl group, 4:15 p.m.
December 16: Christian Ed. Commission, 7:00 p.m.
December 17: Worship Commission, 7:30 p.m.

CalendarView Calendar Online

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

This past summer, I (Anna Nafziger) spent three months in Nicaragua with Goshen College's SST program. I grew very close to my host family, and just recently heard some troubling news from my host sister. Her son, who was born a few weeks after I left, has Down Syndrome and needs open heart surgery before he is six months old. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated, and if you are interested in giving a donation, please email me at Lots of people giving a little bit (or a lot!) can go a long way, and I am hopeful that together we can make a difference.
Pray for Stutsmanville Chapel, Harbor Springs, MI. and Talcum Mennonite Church, Hazard, KY (Pastor: Orlo Fisher).
Some young adults working with Mennonite Mission Network’s short-term mission programs, like Mennonite Voluntary Service and Service Adventure, will be going home for the holidays. Pray for safe travels. Pray also for those who will be experiencing Christmas far from their families this year.

DownloadDecember MMN Prayer Vine

Church Notes
Sunday Service Info

This Sunday: December 14

Lisa Short, Renae Yoder and Denise Risser

Lois and John Mast

Matthew Williams & Jenae Longenecker

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

Offering Counters:
Ron Good and Rick Hostetter

Next Sunday: December 21

Ruth Hathaway, Julie and Phil Zimmerman

Lois and John Mast

Matthew Williams & Jenae Longenecker

Infants: Jennifer Schrock and Trish Shenk
Toddlers: Linda and Joe Liechty

Offering Counters:
Lowell Nafziger and Denise Risser
Statistical Report 
(December 7)

Attendance: 216
General Fund: $5,501.60
College Fund: $20.00
Bethany Tuition: $155.00
Model School (potatoes):  $161.00
Coffee: $62.40
House Rent: $750.00
Agape Fund: $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

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.