by Bob Keeler
Towamencin Mennonite Church was started more than 300 years ago by Jacob Godshalk, the first Mennonite bishop in America. It is on Sumneytown Pike in Kulpsville, with the slip ramp to the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Lansdale interchange right across the street. Commuters park in our lot before carpooling on the turnpike.
Birch Grove Mennonite Church is about 285 miles away in Port Allegany, PA, but the two congregations share in the support of Grove Food Pantry. Towamencin’s connection with Birch Grove began with one of the adult Sunday School classes and has spread to include the entire congregation. Birch Grove, which has an average Sunday attendance of 25 people, started and maintains Grove Food Pantry, which provides once a month food distributions to around 60 families.
As we have done in recent years, our year-end collections will again this year go to missions. All the December offerings will go to missions, which include both local organizations and ministries in other parts of the world.
An outdoor in-creek baptismal service is held each year, with Centro De Alabanza de Filadelfia having joined us the past two years for the service followed by a fellowship meal.
Each year, we also have a joint service the night before Thanksgiving with Covenant Community Fellowship.
We have had several births in recent years, along with adoptions. The youngest Sunday School classes are now the largest of the children’s classes. Our Vacation Bible School brings in children from the community. We just started a Middle School Youth Group to which VBS students were invited. The Middle School Group took part in this year’s Keystone Opportunity Center Sleep Out for Homelessness and helped with sorting out food brought to Keystone’s food pantry from the Boy Scout collection. Our Harvest Home food collections help provide food for the Shepherd’s Shelf Food Cupboard.
Associate Pastor Bill Martin and Bridge Pastor Charlie Ness are the pastors. “Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to extend God’s healing, hope and forgiveness to all” is our mission statement.
–That we can continue to recognize the opportunities God has placed before us in the community
— God’s continued guidance as we search for a new lead pastor