International Guest House Voluntary Service Opportunity

The practice of hospitality to those who come to us as strangers and leave as friends is at the basis of our faith as Mennonites and Anabaptists. Volunteers at the International Guest House in Washington, D.C. live this teaching of Jesus in their daily interactions with guests from all over the world. The work consists of keeping the household running (cleaning, baking, maintenance, and responding to needs of our guests). The breakfast and evening tea are particularly rewarding times for sharing in relaxed and informal ways. We have a current need for short term volunteers beginning this summer who might serve at least two months. (Training requires at least two weeks). Free room and board and two days off per week to explore the city or surrounding areas. This 50 year-old ministry is under the auspices of Allegheny Mennonite Conference. For information or an application, contact Sara at
volunteer@igh-dc.com

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Celebrating Saying “Yes” to God’s Call

Submitted by Lois Hepler

Naomi Tice, a young member of our congregation, Springs Mennonite, and a graduate of Goshen College and AMBS in Elkhart, IN has been approved by Mennonite Mission Network to serve as an international ministry worker in the United Kingdom for 42 months beginning in June. Naomi, daughter of Carolyn and Enos Tice, grew up in our congregation and since her graduation has shared her gifts and talents in ministry and music with her home church. She has pursued a passion for serving in a different country and this calling is an answer to prayer. We celebrated her call during a fellowship meal on Sunday, February 18, at which time Naomi shared information regarding her up-coming assignment. Our prayers and support are with Naomi as she has formed her Ministry Support Team and is now seeking funding for this mission.

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Allegheny Miscellany – (formerly The Plainy from Allegheny)

By David Mishler, Conference Minister
Volume 4 – March 2018

#1 – Naming this Newsletter/Blog
We have a winner! With the five options for naming our new newsletter presented to our delegates (and anyone who wanted to weigh in), the overwhelming choice, with over 66% of all votes cast, was “Miscellany from Allegheny”. In an executive decision twist to this enormously important process, an undisclosed person suggested on their ballot a simplification of the name by reversing the word order. The executive decision is to accept this suggestion, using David Garber’s original proposal, and thus – Allegheny Miscellany. If the unnamed suggestor of the reversal makes themselves known, credit will be given. And the same prize will be awarded which David Garber received by unanimous consent – a free year’s subscription to Allegheny Miscellany. Congratulations and thank you to everyone for your heart-felt participation.

#2 – Faith and Life Gathering – March 3, 2018
Some 67 delegates and guests met for our Spring Faith and Life Gathering at Stahl Mennonite Church (Johnstown, PA). Significant engagement ensued throughout our six-hour meeting as we heard stories of faithful discipleship from two of our congregations (Stahl and Crossroads). We listened and made decisions around our future life together as a MC USA conference, including adoption of a 2018-19 spending plan, feedback for our Affiliation Task Force members as they converse with Central District Conference, selection of members to our nominating committee and Leadership Council, and updates/simplification for our bylaws around regional structures and membership pathways.

Our worship was led by the Stahl congregation – Wangerin and Seuss (Ragman and Oh, The Places You’ll Go!) and music led by Service Adventure leaders, Krista and Leah Rittenhouse. We indeed had a great time of worship, fellowship, counsel and discernment under the guidance of the Spirit of Christ. It was good to be together.

At the urging of our pastors, a plan for healing and journeying forward with the Hyattsville congregation is underway and will be part of our August Celebration of Congregations and Conference at Laurelville, August 3-5. Get that into your calendar and plan for a fruitful time together, reaching for healing and hope and covenant commitments.

Welcome to Leah Lumeya (University) and Paul Lehman (Crossroads) to the Nominating Committee, and Karrie Peterson (Hyattsville) and Lester Lind (Philippi) to Leadership Council.

With regards to our Spending Plan, the delegates made a request to provide ideas for congregations to financially support the conference in this important year of decision, beyond original commitments which were incorporated into a budget. We are seeking to get to a zero-balance budget (no more relying on reserves), so Erin (treasurer) and Dave (conference minister) are preparing a letter which will provide ideas and clarifications around the budget decisions we made. The letter should be in your hands within the week.
Please respond with your questions, comments, hopes and dreams to this post. If you are viewing this post in your email account, use your email “reply” as one way to respond. Or if you are reading this post on our website, post a comment here. All online comments are screened before they go live.

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The Plainy from Allegheny – Volume 3

By David Mishler, Conference Minister
Volume 3 – February 2018

#1 – Naming this Newsletter/Blog
This is the third edition of our newsletter/blog. And I have received more suggestions for this august communication piece. Here are the suggested names, and I am interested in receiving your vote for your preferred blog title:
1. Allegheny, Plainly
2. AllePlainy
3. Miscellany from Allegheny
4. Plainly Allegheny
5. The Plainy from Allegheny

Again, some important critique:
–Allegheny is nowhere near a plain.
–We don’t want to have confusion since we are not re-claiming our plain roots.

Send in your vote by return email or comment on the web page. The Leadership Council reserves the right to make final decisions, pending the number of votes received.

#2 – Upcoming Faith and Life Gathering – March 3, 2018
Stahl Mennonite Church (Johnstown, PA) will be hosting our Spring delegate session in just a few short days. We have some significant agenda before us, which will shape the future existence of our conference. Weighty decisions (not necessarily easy or “fun”) will come sharply into focus as we look at our annual spending plan, the shape of membership we envision together as a conference of congregations, and what is happening with our Affiliation Task Force and its pending recommendations about a potential future with Central District Conference.

With worship led by the Stahl congregation, stories of ministry and identity from the Crossroads and Stahl congregations, good food and prayer rounding out the day, I expect that a great time of worship, fellowship, counsel and discernment will happen under the guidance of the Spirit of Christ. So, we shall give ourselves to this time together.

Our pastors have weighed in on the shape of membership. You will also hear about a plan for healing and journeying forward with the Hyattsville congregation. The Leadership Council recommends some significant changes to our bylaws which will allow for membership renewal and reception in a way that will not be cumbersome but will hopefully lead to mutual trust and integrity as we celebrate our covenants together. (We are looking forward to wonderful time of commitment, healing and hope at our summer Celebration event at Laurelville. More details to come!)

See you on Saturday, March 3 in Johnstown as we simplify our membership model for Allegheny Mennonite Conference and prepare for a service of “re-commitment to conference” this August, where we expect each congregation will express its individuality and share specific place-based ministry efforts as we give ourselves to discipleship in the name of Jesus Christ.

Please respond with your questions, comments, hopes and dreams to this post. If you are viewing this post in your email account, use your email “reply” as one way to respond. Or if you are reading this post on our website, post a comment here. All online comments are screened before they go live.

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