O, 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
GMA Thank You
Goshen Ministerial Association recently received a $1,710.00 monetary gift from Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship as part of our involvement with Churches Baking Together. They wish to thank us for participating in this community initiative, and for giving toward the emergency needs of those in the Goshen community! Requests for assistance from households in the Goshen community remain constant, seemingly driven by realities such as job scarcity, decreasing hours of work, and need for unemployment assistance. Each month local congregations encounter local people that present requests for help in meeting basic living needs, and the GMA Emergency Fund helps to meet a portion of these needs by offering care and hope to a diverse population here in Goshen. Our giving is appreciated.
Because our bank will not accept foreign bills and coins, please make sure that you place American currency into the offering. Thank you. ~ Treasurers
Box Tops for Education
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.
Support for 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
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.
Adam 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
In 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
Animate: Faith Sunday School Class
Come 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, Nadia Bolz-Weber explores the topic of the Cross: Where God Is. Learn more and hear excerpts
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
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
The Goshen College Art Department and art club are co-sponsoring a themed student art exhibit in the Harold and Wilma Good Library Gallery at Goshen College. The exhibit, based on the theme “recycled,” opened on November 28 and will be on display through Feb.19, 2014. A reception will take place on Monday, February. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Good Library Gallery. Learn more
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Jamie Pitts, assistant professor of Anabaptist studies, will teach an online, Spanish-language Anabaptist history and theology course, Feb.12–March 25. Reading and discussion will be similar to seminary classes but the course does not earn AMBS credit. Learn more
Merry Christmas from MCC Great Lakes
As we celebrate God's love and compassion this Christmas season, we are grateful for your faithful support. We invite you to reflect on the verses and images from MCC's work around the world in this online photo gallery
. MCC continues to work alongside local churches and communities to carry out disaster relief, sustainable community development and justice and peace-building work in the name of Christ. Enjoy this Christmas wish video
from MCC. May the joy and peace of Christ fill you this Christmas season!
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
MDC Goldenrod Seeks Contributions
This Christmas, several Goldenrod community members will be with family or friends for Christmas, but there are still a good number of individuals who will not. For these individuals we work to ensure that they have staff for the holiday so they are not alone and that they have some gifts on Christmas morning. In the past we have had a staff member who organized an extensive effort to get items donated for this purpose. This year we are trying a new approach, simply asking for financial contributions to help cover the cost of gifts. We are tremendously thankful for all the many ways your church families support the people of MDC Goldenrod. Any amount is helpful and all donations that come in from this request will go towards the Christmas Gift Project. Checks can be mailed to, or dropped off at, our office, 1514 College Ave. Goshen, IN 46516. If you have questions or would like additional information please contact Colin Rusel
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
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.
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 www.bethanycs.net/jobs.
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 www.amigocentre.org
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.