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Taking our faith seriously with formation ministries

In September, my wife Eunice and I traveled to Pennsylvania to celebrate our forty-fifth class reunion. We were classmates at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School. I attended from fall 1970 through spring 1974. (VMC members Willis Hunsberger, Knoxville, Tenn., Barbara Weirich, Ted and Sue Swartz, and Rosemary Landis, all of Harrisonburg, Va., are also members…

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Top ten reasons for Sharing Our Surplus at the Relief Sale

VA Relief Sale

The Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale’s Sharing Our Surplus (SOS) Campaign was launched two years ago to solicit cash donations for Mennonite Central Committee in addition to money raised through auction, food and other sales. So far the effort has raised over $75,000, and has been designated specifically to meet the growing needs of refugees around…

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Christian formation throughout the life course

Sarah Ann Bixler

Christian faith does not look the same in every season of life. Each season brings particular opportunities for Christian formation, and these vary in every individual. As we in the church walk alongside one another on the lifelong journey of faith, we can be attentive to one another in different seasons of life: childhood, early-…

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Feeling like Job: rebuilding after a disaster loss

  After they saw that tornado warnings had been rescinded in their area of Amherst County, in southwestern Virginia, Frank and Mary went to bed. When the twister hit their home in the small town of Elon, they found themselves several dozen yards away from their home in a debris field down a hill. Miraculously,…

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Annual volunteer award given at VMRC

Carolyn Nowlin and her late husband, Pres Nowlin, were named by Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) as recipients of this year’s Claude Hess Distinguished Service Award. The annual award is given to the volunteer(s) who “Builds Community Spirit at VMRC through Faithful Christian Service.” Carolyn shares her thoughts on volunteerism in this Q&A. Some of…

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The church in service at the Relief Sale

Volunteers make pancakes for the Relief Sale breakfast in 2018. Photo: Jim Bishop   Arriving early on a brisk fall morning to beat the breakfast rush at the annual Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale, I marvel at how many people were here before dawn to ensure that the donuts are fresh, pancake batter is mixed, and…

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When the 1985 flood damaged Riverside Mennonite Church

Riverside Mennonite Church flood of 1985

When the Dry Fork River in West Virginia rose to record levels in November 1985, the Riverside Mennonite Church flooded, and the church suffered much damage. Randolph County, W.Va., got over a foot of rain in two days, and the 40-50 Riverside members needed help to clean up and fix their building. At flood stage,…

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EMU graduates urged to be “moved to action by gratitude”

Retiring psychology professor Judy Mullet speaks to graduates at the 2019 commencement ceremony. EMU photo

  Eastern Mennonite University’s 2019 graduating class received a final assignment at the start of their commencement ceremony: “Raise your hand if this describes you,” said retiring psychology professor Judy Mullet, listing lengths of time in which students may have finished their degrees. At “Thirty-two years?” she raised her own hand. In her address, Mullet…

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Community Mennonite Church is no stranger to MDS

For many years, Community Mennonite Church has participated in recovery missions of Mennonite Disaster Service. These occasions included the memorable storms of Hurricane Andrew, the effects of flooding in New Orleans, and the extreme flash floods of Greenbrier County in West Virginia. Various persons like Terry Burkhalter spent two months in California as crew leader…

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Mennonite Disaster Service: Where faith meets action

Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is a volunteer network through which various constituencies of the Anabaptist church can respond to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States. While our main focus is on clean up, repair, and rebuilding homes, this activity becomes a means of touching lives and helping people regain faith and…

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