80th Anniversary Annual Gathering 2024

Living an Anabaptist Healthcare Ethic - September 27th-29th, Laurelville Retreat Center

 Join us for MHF’s 80th Anniversary Annual Gathering

September 27th-29th, 2024

Laurelville Retreat Center in Mt. Pleasant PA 

Living an Anabaptist Healthcare Ethic: Past, Present, and Future


Healthcare providers who seek to keep their faith forefront in what they do while pursuing ethical, evidence-based care are challenged on every front in today’s profit-focused, hectic healthcare system. Even if we can articulate what a Christian and Anabaptist approach to providing healthcare for those that seek our care – how do we actually live that ethic when confronted with intractable systems of power and profit?

80 years ago a group of Anabaptist nurses and a group of physicians gathered together to ask these very same questions – and although the context has certainly changed, the urgency and need to come together and encourage one another in our discernment and living of Anabaptist ethics and values in healthcare has remained as vital as ever.

Join Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship for our 80th Anniversary Annual Gathering to honor and learn from those who have been living an Anabaptist healthcare ethic for many years and those who are creatively discovering new ways to live their faith in healthcare practice today as young professionals and pioneers in their fields. Attendees reflect that Annual Gathering is a turning point in their careers in being able to be fully themselves in all the spaces they go: Anabaptist and dedicated health professionals.

Every MHF Annual Gathering involves powerful singing and worship, wonderful keynote speakers, activities around Laurelville and in nature, shared meals and laughter, and a chance to connect deeply with those who share your values, your faith, and your passion for caring through others through healthcare.


Register Here for Annual Gathering:  September 27-29, 2024 at Laurelville 


Location: Laurelville Retreat Center

941 Laurelville Lane, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666

Friday, September 27th, 2024

3:00-7:00 PM Registration/Check-In

  • Coffee & Snacks will be available throughout the afternoon.

    5:00-6:30 PM Dinner and Fellowship

    • Meals will be provided by Laurelville Retreat Center and are fully included in the Registration contributions for Annual Gathering. You will have an opportunity to note any special dietary requirements at the time of registration.

    6:30-7 PM Worship & Welcome by MHF Board and Executive Director

    Opening Session

    7:00 – 7:45 An Ethic of Community: Tensions in Mennonite History”  – Paul Leichty

    7:45 – 8:30 “Toward an Anabaptist Medical Ethic” – Joe Kotva, PhD

    Saturday, September 28th, 2024

    8:30-9:30 Breakfast

    9:30 AM Worship

    10-11:30 Plenary Session & Talkback – “Climate Health: The Intersection of Healthcare and Climate Change” – Joe Kotva, PhD

    12:00 PM Lunch

    1:00-2:00 PM “Morally Broken State of Medical Education” – Joe Kotva, PhD

    2:00 – 3:00 PM From a Mission Hospital to a Hospital with a Mission – Update from The Nazareth Project” – Wayne Speigle

    3:00-5:00 Break and Coffee, Snack, and Flexible Time – During this time, feel free to enjoy Laurelville, view submitted posters, and assemble MCC kits

           Please bring items to fill the MCC hygiene kits from the list found here: https://mcc.org/get-involved/kits/hygiene

    5:00-6:00 PM Dinner

    6:30-7:00 PM Evening Worship

    7:00 – 7:45PM “Lived Experiences of Peace Building- Stories from Nursing and Health”Brenda Srof, PhD, RN

    8:00-9:30 PM Annual Saturday Ice Cream Social

    Sunday, September 29th, 2024

    8:30 AM Breakfast

    9:30 AM Plenary Session – “Health as a Natural Extension of Christian Service: Celebrating 80 Years of Mennonite Health Fellowship, leading like Moisés to the Future or Promised Land” – Dr. Dodanim Lans Vasquez Campos

    10:30 AM Break with Coffee, Snacks

    11 AM Worship, Communion, and Closing Remarks from MHF Director and Board

    12:00 PM Lunch & Departure


    Throughout the weekend, additional activities will be available including:

    Nature walks

    Art table

    Hot beverage/snack station

    Dutch Blitz

    MHF/MMA/MNA Trivia Contest

    Contribute to and Make MHF Health Kits – Goal of 80 Kits Donated after Annual Gathering

    History Timeline – Contribute to the MMA/MNA/MHF History Timeline with your stories, reflections, and photographs

    Audio/video/journal/photo reflection submissions including opportunities to be interviewed for the MennoHealth Podcast and Blog

    Music and Hymn Singing Circles

    Information about the Weekend


    Registration for Annual Gathering 2024 is based on occupancy and includes all meals, snacks, and activities over the weekend. All rooms are “hotel-style” accommodations and include linens. For double occupancy, you may specify on the form if you have a spouse or friend you would prefer to room with. Spouses will most likely be in single beds, but can be housed together.

    • $340 per person — single occupancy
    • $240 per person —  2 per room 
    • $210 per person — 3 per room

    Students may register with the code STUDENTS for $40 off the regular registration price.

    For all those who are able, an extra gift of $80 to honor the 80th anniversary at registration will allow us to accommodate more students, provide scholarships for low-income individuals, and compensate our wonderful speakers.

    The Venue

    More about Laurelville:

    Nestled in the serene landscapes of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, Laurelville Retreat Center offers a tranquil haven for those seeking respite from everyday life. Surrounded by towering trees and lush gardens, guests for MHF’s Annual Gathering will enjoy cozy accommodations, delivious meals, the option for adventurous hikes, and enjoying Laurelville’s many recreational amenities.

    Activities at Laurelville Retreat Center include:

    • Invigorating hikes through wooded trails
    • Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the lake (only if it’s very warm in September!)
    • Engaging in friendly competition on volleyball or basketball courts
    • Relaxing in the serene meditation garden
    • Gathering around campfires for storytelling and fellowship

    Many rooms have Queen Beds and Two Twin Beds.  There are accessible rooms available.  Laurelville is accessible from Pittsburg, Goshen IN, and Philadelphia – 

    • From Pittsburgh: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours drive.
    • From Goshen, Indiana: Approximately 6 to 7 hours drive.
    • From Philadelphia: Approximately 4 to 5 hours drive.

    Carpools from Pittsburg or nearby cities can be arranged for those who prefer public transportation.

    Register Here for Annual Gathering:  September 27-29, 2024 at Laurelville 


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