Annual Gathering 2014

June 13-15, 2014 at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center

Annual Gathering 2014

MHF’s Annual Gathering 2014 was held June 13-15, 2014 at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

The theme for the weekend was Faith at Work: Practicing our Profession and featured the following:


Jim & Angie Clemens – Music/Worship Leaders

Jim Clemens and the "singing bowl"Jim and Angie Clemens from Dayton, Virginia were worship and music leaders for Annual Gathering 2014.  Called together for each session by a “singing bowl,” worshipers were led by Angie in a wide variety of music, readings, scripture, and prayers with Jim providing accompaniment on piano and other instruments, an extra voice for readings, and some original compositions to add to the rich worship experience.

Angie Clemens leading singingAngie and Jim also led a special Saturday evening hymnsing following the ice cream social for which they solicited requests from Annual Gathering attendees.

Plenary Session Presentations

Friday evening, June 13

Scott HollandSession Theme:   “Our Faith Calls Us”
Speaker:  Scott Holland, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As a pastor and narrative theologian, Scott Holland offered a story-shaped presentation on the many meanings of faith and its vocational call into the diverse adventures of professional life far beyond the sanctuary doors.


Saturday morning, June 14

Tim & Jen LeamanSession Theme: “Our Faith Moves Us”
Speakers:  Tim and Jen Leaman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tim and Jen shared from their experiences of God moving them into their Philadelphia neighborhood. They wove together stories and Scriptures that reflected on their family and congregation’s involvement in their Oxford Circle neighborhood, where they are excited to catch glimpses of God’s healing and transforming activity in their city.  Tim shared some additional stories from his work as a physician at Esperanza Health Center.

Saturday evening, June 14

Session Theme: “Our Faith Guides Us”  Panel Discussion

PanelLed by moderator, Joe Longacher, four persons shared stories of how their Christian faith guided them in their choice of profession, their integrity as Christian healthcare professionals and the ways in which their faith is lived out in dealing with patients/clients, with institutions, with difficult ethical decisions, and with areas of conflict.


  • Andrea Bieber, clinical social worker and social service administrator
  • Kristine Charles, OB/GYN physician currently in transition
  • Lyubov Slashcheva, dental student
  • Jonathan Spicher, medical student

Sunday Morning, June 15

J. Melvin JanzenSession Theme: “Our Faith Sends Us”
Speaker: Melvin Janzen, Waynesboro, Virginia.

In a sermon entitled “Out of Headache and Heart Ache, a Message of Encouragement” Melvin led in reflections from the Apostle Paul’s first “sending” work as found in Acts 13:13-48.  The service culminated with a celebration of the Lord’s Supper led by MHF Board member, Kenton Derstine.


Mission, Intercession and Neighboring: Conversations on Living into God’s Dreams for our Neighborhoods

Tim and Jen Leaman

Through additional stories and conversation, Tim and Jen led further discussion around the themes presented in their plenary session with particular focus on God’s call to love our neighbors, to pray with our neighbors, and to join in God’s work in restoring healthy communities.

Healthcare and Faith through SET

John StoeckleJohn Stoeckle

John Stoeckle, a Student Elective Term (SET) in Zambia reflected on his overseas experience and how it helps shape his perspective as a Christian and healthcare professional.  He also shared about specific information on how malaria research is changing lives in southern Zambia, and hopefully beyond.

Mentor, Coach, or Facilitator: What is the difference?

Randall Longenecker and Oralea Pittman

Medical education and practice tend to be extremely hierarchical. Words like “mentor” or “role model” (although both are excellent words and concepts) tend to accentuate this tendency in a culture which is very individualistic and attracted to expertise. Those terms work best in settings where the culture is more egalitarian and communal. In hierarchical cultures, words like “coaching,” even “peer coaching,” or “facilitation” frame the interaction as a more mutual one. Randall, a physician and Oralea, a nurse practitioner, shared from their collaboration in teaching and practice for 14 years as part of a learning community of students, residents, and practitioners.

The Illness/Injury Journey: Dimensions of Spiritual Struggle

J. Melvin Janzen

Using Louis Nieuwenhuizen’s “Spiritual Care Illustrated,” Melvin gave examples of how to hear the inner struggles of patients/clients.

Our Faith Feeds Us: Faith, Food and Health

Our Faith Feeds Us: Faith, Food and Health Mary Beth Lind and Charity Grimes Bauman

Cultivation of the soil/soul feeds our bodies/spirits with health/shalom.  Mary Beth, a dietician/gardener, and Charity, a community organizer of urban gardens, shared their passion for gardening and how it feeds us physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Included was a hands-on experience in which workshop participants were invited to plant seeds in cups provided.

Children’s Program

Theresa WolfChildren were an important part of the the weekend at Laurelville! During the weekend, they encountered God as they journeyed through the wilderness of scripture and of camp, meeting Moses, Elijah, the Israelites, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul along the way.  Activities were led by Theresa Wolf of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

More about Annual Gathering 2014



Mennonite Health Journal