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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Volunteering as a spiritual discipline

I believe the virtues of volunteering one’s efforts on behalf of another are deeply embedded in our spirit. Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was good.” God designed us for relationship with God and with each other. Intrinsic to our biological, relational and spiritual nature is the desire to…

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Two reflections from the SENT 2019 Conference

Reflection by Clyde G. Kratz I had the privilege of traveling to Denver with a number of church planters in Virginia Mennonite Conference, April 26-28, 2019. Mennonite Mission Network planned and hosted the event for church planters at the Beloved Community Mennonite Church, an intercultural church plant in Mountain States Mennonite Conference. Because Virginia Mennonite…

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Putting hands and feet to what we believe through MDS

Dave Mininger

Springdale Mennonite Church “strives to be a growing community of believers that inspires engagement by all, cultivates discipleship, and shares God’s reconciling love and healing with our neighbors and our world.” This is our vision statement that we adopted in 2016. We are attempting to put our words into action through involvement with Mennonite Disaster…

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Meet Michael Danner, Mennonite Church USA Associate Executive Director for Church Vitality and Engagement

Michael Danner

About Michael Married to wife Melissa for 28 years Has three adult children, Julia, 27, Nicholas, 23, and Isabelle, 21 Has a BA in Speech Communications from University of Illinois, Urbana; a Masters in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; a DMin in Contextual Theology from Northern Seminary Pastored at Metamora Mennonite Church, Metamora, Ill.,…

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