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Stories of Brethren stewards * December 7, 2016


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MSS 2016 Ruth
MSS volunteer Ruth Ritchie-Moore reading
to students at Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren.

Photos by Donita Keister

Seeing God at work
By Donita Keister, associate pastor for Children and Pastoral Care at Buffalo Valley (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and Mission and Ministry Board member.

Days are refreshingly cooler now that Fall has finally arrived. This summer in central Pennsylvania was particularly warm, and had a unique sense of warmth for me that went beyond the sun’s intense rays. Each summer at Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren, I supervise a summer full of programming for children in our community that includes a Wednesday day camp along with other ministry activities. Last fall our Children’s Ministry Team became aware of Ministry Summer Service, a leadership development program during which college students in the Church of the Brethren spend nine weeks in a church-related setting. As we applied to become a site for an MSS volunteer, we looked forward to the extra set of hands and feet that would lighten the heavy load of summer ministry.
Donita and Ruth
Donita and Ruth at
the MSS 
orientation.
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford


We were excited to learn that our application was accepted and we would welcome Ruth Ritchie-Moore into our lives and ministry. As we prepared for her work among us, I slowly gained a deeper understanding of what MSS was all about. Yes, Ruth would be among us as “hands and feet,” but the relationship would go well beyond that to a place of heartfelt ministry on a number of different levels. I learned that I would have the responsibility to mentor Ruth, who had entrusted her summer to my care. Her experience with our congregation would help form her view of her own ministry and call in her chosen vocation.

Ruth and I were partners as we planned our times of ministry with the children. I challenged her to confidently grow in her obvious ability to articulate her particularly deep insights and to share her heart. She challenged me to be organized and prepared for my day (although I’m pretty sure she was not aware of that... I have a tendency to “fly by the seat of my pants” more often than I should). I challenged her to be open to God’s calling in surprising and unexpected places. Her quiet and reflective presence challenged me to “be still and know” daily with more intentionality and presence in order to see God’s hand at work. These lessons and others brought the unique sense of warmth and friendship into our mentor/mentee relationship.

As our time together drew to a close I discovered new things about Ruth that I wished I had seen earlier. I wished for more time at a slower pace, not only so I could mentor her longer, but in order that she could continue to “mentee” me.

Ministry Summer Service is a shared ministry of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Office of Ministry. Your gift to the Church of the Brethren supports faith and leadership formation programs like this. Learn more about Ministry Summer Service at www.brethren.org/mss or give now at www.brethren.org/give.
 

Giving Tuesday 2016
www.brethren.org/
givingtuesday



Giving Tuesday 2016


With the support of
70 individuals like you,
we surpassed our goal and raised $11,300 in support
of our Mission and Ministry!

These gifts empower the
Church of the Brethren
to share the love of God and
the peace of Christ with
those who need it most.

Thank you for all
who participated in
Giving Tuesday!

Missed the opportunity to
participate in Giving Tuesday?
Support the ministries of the
Church of the Brethren today.

www.brethren.org/give

 


“Christmas is about redemption. Jesus came to
live among the broken refuse of this world, to
taste of its pain, to face its temptations—with
the result of redeeming its brokenness back
to what our Creator originally intended.”

—Galen Hackman in “A not-so-silent night”
from the December issue of Messenger magazine.
 

Messenger December 2016
 


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Donor Relations department photo 2Matt DeBall, John Hipps, Mark Flory Steury,
Cherise Glunz, and Traci Rabenstein.

Watch for our
next issue on
December 21
.

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