by Marta Castillo, interim pastor
Wellspring Church of Skippack is a congregation with deep Mennonite roots but an openness to people of all backgrounds who wish to follow Christ.
The youngest member of Wellspring, Kaylee Hockman (14 years old) went to visit with the oldest member, Florence Garges (93 years old), and Mae Reinford, who has attended the church for 77 years. In their walk down memory lane, Florence and Mae told us about a horse shed that was eventually enclosed into a building that held Sunday School and Vacation Bible School rooms. Florence remembers teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and the nursery class with her sister, Evelyn, and enjoying the Winter Bible Study. She remembers their Sunday School class going on a Saturday afternoon visit to her teacher’s house where they played games and got treats. Although she still thinks of the church by its old name (Upper Skippack Mennonite Church) and now lives in the Souderton Mennonite Homes, she says, “It was the only church we ever went to. I always liked it. I didn’t know any different. It was home.”
Mae Reinford, who is still very active at Wellspring, remembers the “Golden Years” of Vacation Bible School that was held for 175-200 community children. Her Uncle Jake Landis was a school bus driver who would invite the children for the event, and for a time, the church was allowed to use the public school’s buses to transport the children to Bible School. Mae’s parents, Wilmer and Margaret Reinford were heavily involved in organizing and running the Bible School. At least one of the current members at the church attended Bible School at the church as a child. Mae has watched many things change over the years and yet she continues to rejoice in the work that God is doing in and through us.
Today, Wellspring is a small, vibrant congregation with a church culture of “Come as you are and as you like. We enjoy dressing down AND dressing up.” Our average attendance is 25-30. It is easy to GET IN AND GET INVOLVED. We have a lot of potential for ministry in areas such as worship, children, and Bible study groups.
The congregation begins to gather on a Sunday morning around 9 a.m. with the worship team meeting to pray and practice. The prayer room is open for prayer and intercession from 9:30-10 am. Our worship service starts at 10 am and is a combination of prayer, preaching, sharing, and singing. The worship style includes a rich mix of contemporary praise songs and hymns. We know that styles are different, musical tastes vary, and worship is BOTH personal and corporate. The Sunday morning worship service is informal with several meaningful opportunities for the congregation to share prayer requests, Scripture, and sermon response. We enjoy a children’s story every Sunday that is led by different members of the congregation.
We value our relationship in a group of five small churches in our area: Methacton, Providence, Spring Mount, and Frederick. Our pastors meet monthly and we worship together in several services and picnics each year.
Due to our proximity to the Phoenix (formerly Graterford) Prison, our congregation and its leaders have often been involved in different levels of prison ministry. We are currently involved in providing maps, clothing, and information for people who are seeking to visit the prison. Pastor Michael Meneses, who served as pastor here from 2001-2018, was instrumental in developing restorative justice workshops in the prison. Currently, there are four ten-week sessions based on “Restorative Justice” by Howard Zehr that run throughout the year. They are led by a group of leaders, including Jake Lentz from Wellspring and Bobbi Smisko from Methacton.
Wellspring Church of Skippack is experiencing the unending source of the grace and love of God in surprising and wonderful ways. We are being built up every day on the foundation that is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit inspires us and guides us to be who God is calling us to be. It is a gem of a congregation!
* continue to pray for us during this year of transition following the death of our beloved pastor, Mike Meneses, as we seek God’s healing, direction, and vision
* pray for the guidance of God’s Spirit in our pastoral search process and that we can be a witness of God’s salvation and love in our prayer ministry, prison (restorative justice) ministry, and where we live, work, and play