Mennonite Church USA Elkhart offices dedicatedBy Annette Brill Bergstresser Mennonite Church USA
ELKHART, Ind. — The new building for Mennonite Church USA’s Elkhart offices was dedicated April 14, with about 325 people in attendance. The building is located at 3145 Benham Ave., adjacent to the campus of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
Among those present at the dedication service at the AMBS Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount were Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore, MC USA Executive Board members, the board chairs and chief executive officers of MC USA agencies, board members and area conference leaders from across the church, leaders and members of the AMBS community, donors, fundraising campaign cabinet members, MC USA staff members and members of local congregations.
After the dedication service, Mennonite Mission Network’s “Work in Progress” musical group led a procession to the new offices for the ribbon cuttings — one in each wing of the building — and an open house.
The new building is one of several MC USA centers for creative work, training, global communication, and logistical support for the mission of the church; other denominational offices are located in Newton, Kan., and Harrisonburg, Va.
The building brings together 70 staff members of MC USA agencies and ministries, including Executive Board, Mennonite Education Agency, MennoMedia, MMN and The Mennonite — all previously housed in various locations in northern Indiana. There is room for 10-12 additional staff members in the 35,000 square feet of finished space. Staff moved into the building in December and January.
The building is a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green facility, designed and constructed using the U.S. Green Building Council standards for sustainable building. The local hardwood trim, doors and interior glass were provided by a number of constituents who donated trees, harvesting, rough sawing and drying facilities, milling and manufacture of doors and trim, finishing and hardware. A portion of the cabinet work also was donated.
Green features of the building include many windows and skylights for natural light, digital heating and lighting systems, bicycle storage, rain gardens and catchment areas for rainwater to be filtered and absorbed into the ground. Part of the meeting space can be closed off from the offices for other uses on evenings and weekends.
The construction process recorded 400 volunteer hours.
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