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Last updated November 24.

Feb. 16, 2009 issue

To build or not to build

Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Ind.

By Ruth Conrad Liechty

The congregation has searched for consensus concerning “to build” or “not to build.” Top issues are space needs, building “green,” stewardship of resources, local and worldwide needs and the current economy. Growing out of congregational life early in our short history, our motto “Called to be Christ’s loving, caring, healing presence” along with a more recent vision statement affirming our intent to nurture intimacy and to be invitational, guide our reflections and discussions about a building project.

During the past year BAMF sheltered 13 homeless families, provided 271 bed days in our meetinghouse and logged 761 volunteer hours via Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network. East Goshen Mennonite Church has also used our facilities during the past year for their quarterly times to host families for IHN as their building undergoes remodeling.

Wedding: Elizabeth Miller and Neil Richer.

Our 2008 Advent Giving Project was food, household items and personal items for Mennonite Disabilities Committee at Goldenrod. Goldenrod provides supervised housing for adults with disabilities. Sherry Wenger spearheaded this effort.

We met our goal for the College Matching Fund, enabling us to provide $500 for each of our 19 students attending Bethel, Hesston and Goshen colleges or Bluffton University.

Technology enabled “inclusion” of absent members in our worship experiences during Advent. Ginny Martin videotaped her interviews with Goldie Hostetler, Phil Hostetler, Amy Buckwalter and Jo Tann. The four are members who value their connections with us even though they seldom are able to attend our worship services.

Everyone at BAMF was invited to a “Book and Birthday Open House” at the Schrock residence Jan. 31, in celebration of pastor Dan’s upcoming 50th birthday and the release of his book, The Dark Night: A Gift of God. The event was planned by Jennifer Halteman Schrock and sons Peter and Nicolas.

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