Plan Now for the Big Valley Bike, Hike, and Cycle Event on May 2

Not only will there be riding for bicyclists and walking for hikers but also a 70 mile route for motorcyclists to enjoy the gorgeous Big Valley in Bellevillebike Hike 14 group, PA.  Gather your pledges and join us! Persons with a donation or pledges of at least $25 will be entered in a drawing to receive gift cards from local vendors to take place at 9:00 a.m.  All funds raised will be sent to Mennonite Central Committee through TriState Relief Sale.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Mennonite Church, 115 Maple Grove Rd., Belleville. The event will end at noon. Distances: Bikers 33 miles or 16.5 miles;  Hikers 6.25miles or 4.5 miles (shorter or longer distances available for hikes & bikers);  Motorcyclists 70 miles.

Download the sponsor form and information from www.tristatesale.org or contact JoAnn Byler at 717-437-1336 or jjbyler@embarqmail.com  For questions regarding the motorcycle ride, contact Wib Zook at WIBZ@verizon.net.

 

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TriState Spring Workday to be April 18

knottersSaturday, April 18, will be the spring workday at Springs Mennonite Church at Springs, PA, to prepare items to be sold at the TriState Relief Sale, July 17 & 18. Other items will be made to send to where needed most through Mennonite Central Committee.

Please come at your convenience between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM and bring a covered dish for lunch. Table setting and drink provided.  There will be opportunities for quilters, comforter knotting and relief kit bag sewing.  Bring along a friend, join in the fellowship, learn about MCC and share your talents whether you quilt, knot, or sew.

For more information or questions, contact Darlene Miller at 301-895-5557

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RAWtools PeaceMaker Tour to Forge Peace in State College

raw toolsOn March 20, the RAWtools PeaceMaker Tour, an effort to raise awareness and encourage dialogue around the issue of gun violence, will present a live demonstration at the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 West Beaver Avenue. The hour-long event, slated to begin at 6 p.m., will feature a blacksmith transforming a gun into a garden implement outside the church, while inside the sanctuary—as the blacksmith demonstration is video streamed live—individuals who have been affected by gun violence will share their experiences.

Author and activist Shane Claiborne will be the keynote speaker. Claiborne’s peacemaking adventures have taken him to many troubled areas around the world, including Rwanda, the West Bank, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Calcutta, where he worked with Mother Teresa.

Also speaking will be Terri Roberts, mother of Charles Carl Roberts, the shooter in the 2006 Nickel Mines Amish school shootings. Terri Roberts, a mother of four sons, will share her perspectives on the tragedy that propelled her into the public’s eye and how she has found strength and healing through God’s grace.

“By event’s end,” according to the RAWtools Facebook page, “a physical representation of God’s prophecy of ‘beating your swords into plowshares’ from Isaiah and Micah is created in actuality. People experience opportunities for healing, purpose, and a reinvigoration of imagination as a new reality is encountered in this physical representation of ‘forging peace.’”

A time of refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation.

Event organizers are in the process of finalizing details for an outdoor demonstration of the gun to garden tool transformation on the morning of March 20th. More details will be released on the event’s Facebook page.

The RAWtools event is sponsored by Abba Java Coffee HouseMennonite Central Committee U.S. (MCC U.S.)University Baptist & Brethren ChurchUniversity Mennonite ChurchWestminster Presbyterian Fellowship, and 3rd Way Collective.

Learn more about RAWtools and the PeaceMaker tour at https://www.facebook.com/events/851931974870476/permalink/854153867981620/

 

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University Mennonite Begins Penn State Campus Ministry

Ben widemanThis past fall, University Mennonite Church, in State College, PA, embarked on an exciting journey. After several years of discerning a call to student ministry at Penn State, the congregation brought Pastor Ben Wideman on board to launch the 3rd Way Collective. Wideman was licensed by Allegheny Mennonite Conference and installed as the Anabaptist campus pastor at University Mennonite on October 26. Conference pastor Donna Mast participated in the service, and John Stoltzfus, conference youth minister for Eastern District and Franconia Conferences and youth pastor at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, delivered the morning message.

As a new organization on campus, 3rd Way Collective aims to serve as a bridge for faith-based organizations and those that focus on a specific peace and justice issue. “We’re excited by the students, faculty, and staff who have reached out and the many ways they are joining with us to tackle these challenging topics,” Wideman says.

3rd Way Collective is off to a busy start. So far, activities have included an interfaith peace meditation and prayer service, a weekly peace/justice/faith conversation group, community service projects, and other informal gatherings for students to engage—on campus, in downtown coffee shops, and beyond State College. Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Wideman and Penn State students joined with four other campus organizations to lead a service and learning trip to Washington, D.C., which focused on racial issues, gentrification, and homelessness. Wideman has also launched a weekly podcast called “Peace Signs,” which gives five-minute glimpses into the peace, justice, and faith perspectives of members of the Penn State community.

rawtools logoOn March 20, 3rd Way Collective will host The RawTools PeaceMaker Tour, an effort to raise awareness and encourage dialogue around the issue of gun violence. Held at the State College Presbyterian Church, the event will feature a blacksmith transforming a gun into a garden implement (referencing “beating swords into plowshares” – Isaiah 2:4) outside the church, while inside the sanctuary—as the blacksmith demonstration is video streamed live—individuals who have been affected by gun violence will share their experiences. State College’s mayor and police chief, as well as several campus organizations, have expressed support for the event. Continue reading

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