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

December 6, 2015

Berkey Announcements | Our Schools | Community Announcements | Classifieds

Berkey Announcements

Advent Candles

advent candleFamilies of children and youth will find an Advent Candle in your mailbox. This Advent Candle is for you to burn and enjoy this Advent season. Each day burn down one number at a time until you get to Christmas. We encourage you to use this candle as a meal or bedtime ritual to say a prayer, sing a song, or read a scripture passage together as you await the coming of Christ into the world. If you didn't receive a candle, let us know and we'll be sure to get one to you! May you find ways of bringing hope and light into our world this Advent season. -Christian Education Commission (Denise, Joe, Laura, Marilyn, Nate and Ruth)

Advent Giving Project

hatOur theme for Advent this year is "Incarnation," and ways we experience God's presence among us. To celebrate with our giving the very real way God became human, the Mission Commission and Advent Committee invite you to donate supplies for MCC Infant Care Kits. Several women in our congregation have donated hand-knit hats for all the kits we assemble. The rest of the supplies needed PER KIT are as follows:  (Please donate new items only, purchased or hand-made, size 3-9 months.)
  • 2 gowns/sleepers (flannel or similar warm/soft material)
  • 2 undershirts/onesies (short or long sleeve)
  • 4 flat-fold cloth diapers (Village Variety on CR 40 has them locally)
  • 1 receiving blanket (lightweight fleece or flannel, 36" minimum)
  • 4 safety pins (2")
  • 1 large bar mild soap (leave in wrapper)
  • 1 pair socks
We will be collecting supplies all during Advent, and there will be a Christmas tree in the corner of the fellowship area with reminder cards & baby hats. All donated supplies can be placed under the tree. Please note that during the third Sunday of Advent, December 13, we will be having a special time during nurture hour to assemble kits from supplies we've received by then. If you have any questions, please contact Abbe Buller. Thank you for generously giving!

Christmas Nurture Hour Program

Christmas playDuring the Nurture hour on December 13, all Sunday School classes will meet in the sanctuary for a Christmas program. The hour will begin with the Primary children presenting a Christmas play, followed by a Christmas hymn sing and assembling of Infant Care Kits for MCC.

New Nurture Class

Women's classA new class entitled Women’s Circle: Tending Our Souls will be offered both winter and spring quarters. The focus of this nurture hour offering is on tending—listening to our souls, the Spirit, and each other—and through these practices, in a setting of safety and confidentiality, to grow as women of faith. The hour will begin with a time of quiet and centering: listening to our own souls. There will be time for each to share whatever they choose, and for praying together. The emphasis will be on listening and receiving, rather than on interacting and responding. In receiving what we hear in ourselves and from each other, we offer spiritual companionship in our daily walk. Because of the nature of this group, individuals are asked to commit to attending as consistently as possible. Cindy Baker will be facilitating the class. Feel free to contact Cindy directly for more information.

Creation Care at Berkey

Creation CareDid You Know? Over the last five years, Berkey has done many things to care for creation in more responsible ways. Here’s a list.

To save energy:
  • Insulated the floor under the sanctuary
  • Purchased a more efficient refrigerator
  • Removed incandescent bulbs from the sanctuary and library, and replaced them with fluorescent bulbs
  • Installed “smart” thermostats
  • Installed timer switches in the restrooms
  • Installed electronic ballasts for many fluorescent fixtures
  • Installed a metal roof over the sanctuary (which can be recycled, unlike asphalt)
  • Batteries
  • Cardboard, cans, and bottles
  • Compost coffee grounds
Using our land well:
  • Started a community garden
  • Sowed a wildflower garden to attract butterflies (coming next summer)
  • Mulch many of our leaves back into the grass
  • Held a summer intergenerational class related to creation
  • Taught the Every Creature Singing adult elective
  • Taught a series on the stewardship of creation for the MYF
  • Used the Creation Waits worship series
  • Each commission discussed ways their work could contribute to a greener planet
  • Encouraged people to get free home energy audits and sign up for AC cycling
If you have more ideas for ways that we can care for creation, let us know.
—Dan and Jenny Schrock, for the Stewardship and Finance Commission

New to the Library

libraryBoundaries:  When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. The authors share great insights and practical wisdom into the God-given gift of boundaries.
Kinship Concealed:  Amish Mennonite-African American Family Connections, by Sharon Cranford and Dwight E. Roth. The unusual story of Amish immigrant brothers who take divergent paths to distant worlds. Many years later through a chance encounter, Hesston College faculty members, one African American, the other Mennonite, discover their common ancestry.

Directory Updates and Church Mailboxes

mailboxPlease take note of the three items below and contact the church office by email or call 574-534-2398 for any additions or updates.
We, at Berkey, would like to include all regular attenders and members in the Congregational Directory. Please review the Online Directory on the church website. Also, take note of the Friends and Members in Other Places section and the commission listings at the end of the directory. Please let the office know of any additions or corrections so that the directory can be updated.
Would you like a new photo in the Congregational Directory? John Hooley will be available before church (9:00 a.m.) and during the coffee hour on December 6 and 13 to take your picture. You may also submit your own photo to the office by email or with a hard copy.
If you are a regular attender, we would like for you to have a church mailbox. If you do not have one yet, please notify the church office so that we can give you one.

Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network

GIHNGIHN guests will be here at our church beginning this Sunday, December 6 - 13. Thank you to all the many volunteers who will be hosting our guests!

Note from Jered Liechty

praying handsDear church family, I find myself in some trouble and will be spending some time locked up at Westville. I would greatly appreciate any letters or cards. Anyone who wants a reply please use the following information at to send me an emailed letter. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
             Jered Liechty
             DOC 255060  Location C2-N2-IU
             Indiana Department of Correction
             Westville Correctional Facility
             5501 South 1100 West
             Westville, IN 46391

Throwback Thursday

throwbackThursdayHead 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

icon_bcs Bethany Christian

Ten Thousand Village Sales for Bethany

Shop Ten Thousand Villages in Goshen on Thursday, December 10, and Ten Thousand Villages 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

Bethany Christian High School will hold its annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 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.

Goshen College Goshen College

Searching for Christ in Israel/Palestine: An evening of reflection

During this season of Advent we anxiously await the coming of the Christ Child. But where do we look? And who do we find 2000 years after this momentous event in Bethlehem? Gwen Gustafson-Zook, College Mennonite Church Pastor, recently returned from a two-week “Come and See” Learning Tour to Israel/Palestine sponsored by Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee. Gwen will share out of this experience of meeting with numerous Palestinians and Israelis currently embroiled in a decades long conflict in the land that is called the “Holy Land” but far too often feels anything but “Holy.” The meeting will take place in the College Mennonite Church Koinonia Room at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, and is open to the public.

Piano Duo Program

The Norell Piano Duo presents Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite with Dr Luke Norell, Community School of the Arts, piano program director, and Dr. Mary Rose Norell, Community School of the Arts, activities director and piano faculty. Ring in the Christmas season with a performance of Tchaikovsky's festive Nutcracker Suite, played on two pianos by the Norell Piano Duo! This celebratory program will also feature seasonal works by Bach and Liszt. The event is December 15 at 1:00 p.m. in Sauder Concert Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Peace Lecture

On Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism and College Mennonite Church will host a public lecture by Peggy Faw Gish, “Learning to Love Boko Haram: A Nigerian Peace Church Responds.” The lecture will take place in the College Mennonite Church-Chapel. Gish, born in northern Nigeria to American missionaries, has been active in peace and justice work all of her adult life. In the spring and summer of 2015, she worked closely with members of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, who have suffered great violence and upheaval at the hands of Boko Haram, a radicalized group in northeastern Nigeria. Gish will share stories and insights based on her work among the EYN and their search for nonviolent responses in a context of intense persecution. 

AMBS Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

In the current issue of The Mennonite, AMBS assistant professor of Anabaptist Studies Jamie Pitts reflects on Revelation 21 - 22 in light of US immigration policies, the plight of undocumented people, and his recent trip to the US Mexico-Border. Read his article from The Mennonite.

Community Announcements

First Friday at The Window

Today, December 4, The Window, Inc. will be hosting its December First Friday meal from 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. or until the food runs out. The menu includes African Groundnut Stew (Gluten-Free), Peas, Bread, and Pumpkin Bars. Suggested donation is $8.00.

Meditative Day Retreat

Kathy Stiffney and Terri Brenneman are offering a Day Retreat. In this busy time of year it seems appropriate to offer space to quiet the soul and reflect on the meanings of the season.
To all looking for a chance to retreat and recharge, this Day Retreat will be held on Friday, December 11, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 712 S Greene Rd., Goshen. The retreat fee is $35. It includes times of quiet, meditation, bits of input and good food. RSVP to Kathy, 574-202-7710.

College Mennonite Church Invitation

College Mennonite Church invites you to a Christmas worship service on Sunday, December 13, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. The service will include carol singing, scripture readings, a handbell choir and a children’s musical, The Inn Crowd. Written by pastors Lee and Susan Dengler, the musical tells the story of the over-crowded inn at Bethlehem and the folks who might have been staying there when Jesus was born, noting that Jesus came for all people. The cast includes children from seven congregations across the community. There is no cost to attend, and all are welcome! Refreshments will follow the service.



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!

The Center for Healing and Hope, a faith-based urgent care clinic, is seeking a certified Medical Assistant to begin January 4, 2016. This 22-hour a week position involves back-office clinical duties as well as front-office administrative duties. Applicants must be bilingual in Spanish and English, have excellent communication and writing skills, and be able to work three evenings per week. If interested, send inquiries and resumes to Rebecca Gascho.

The Window, Inc. has a receiver position available in the afternoons, Monday through Friday, 20 hours per week, 4 hours per day. This position consists of picking up, weighing and stocking donations. The ideal candidate will possess some maintenance knowledge as well as the ability to lift 40-60 pounds. If you or someone you know would like more information about this position, please contact Ed Swartley at 574.533.9680 ext. 209.



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

This week:

December 6 - 13
December 8
Christian Ed. Commission, 7:00 p.m.
December 9
Worship Commission, 7:00 p.m.

December 12
Primary Children's Christmas Program Rehearsal, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
DownloadDownload Calendar

CalendarView Calendar Online

Birthdays This Week:

Alex Miller
Isabela Barahona
Morgan Short
Olivia Wenger
Dan Nafziger

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

Pray for Emma Mennonite, Topeka, IN (Gene Hartman, pastor). Rejoice with them as they have had several recent baptisms and people joining through membership transfers. Pray for them as they work through their affiliation discernment over the next number of months.

Pray for Marion Mennonite, Shipshewana, IN (Ron & Char Roth, pastors).

Join Mennonite Mission Network in thanking God for the safety of five international workers based in Paris, France, during the November bombings. Pray for wisdom as French Mennonites and others discern how to respond to these tragedies and to the violence that occurs in other countries on a daily basis.

Download December MMN Prayer Vine

Church Notes
Sunday Service Info

This Sunday:  December 6

Brenda Grimes
Aaron Wieand

Melba Graber
Pete Graber

Ron and Lori Good

Nick Schrock/Richard Aguirre

Infants:  Diane Nafziger, Connie and Phil Bauman
Toddlers:  Gregg Beitler, Laura and Randy Horst

Offering Counters:
John Hooley, Greg Smucker

Next Sunday:  December 13

Brenda Grimes
Aaron Wieand

Melba Graber
Pete Graber

Ron and Lori Good

Nick Schrock/Richard Aguirre

Infants:  Jennifer Schrock, Jan and Peter Shetler
Toddlers:  Mariah Martin, Anna and Joe Sawatsky

Offering Counters:
Ron Good, Rick Hostetter
Statistical Report 
(November 29)

Attendance:  156
General Fund:  $4,145.38
Bethany 2015/16:  $865.00
College:  $670.00
Coffee:  $44.95
Potato and Firewood Sales for Model School:  $144.00

General Fund Income YTD
Actual:  $73,280.09
Budget:  $73,310.00

Berkey Avenue
Mennonite Fellowship

2509 Berkey Avenue
Goshen, IN 46526
(574) 534-2398

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
Hours vary

Interim Communications and Office Manager:
Tuesday - Friday
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Marilyn Rudy-Froese
Dan Schrock
Ben Woodward Breckbill - Pastoral Intern

Greg Smucker (Chairperson)
Shirley Dick
Sherm Kauffman
Anita Mounsithiraj
Richard Aguirre

Doug Baker
Richard Miller
Laverne Nafziger
Judy Weaver
Copyright © 2015 Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, All rights reserved.