Author: uplandweb

Is Romans 13 another love chapter? Bridging the Romans 13:7-8 gap


Version 1

Romans 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Exhortation to Love Neighbors

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “Do not commit adulterydo not murderdo not stealdo not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.  (NET Bible)

Version 2

 Romans 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants.           7Remembering all this, give everyone what is due them.  If taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 8 Even though you owe them nothing but mutual love, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. (RSV plus Finger’s variations*)

(verses highlighted to clarify discussion below)


Romans 13 has been in the news recently.  In much of the attention, verses 1-7 are treated as a separate section from the rest of the chapter.  Most translations put a section break after verse seven.  I began writing this reflection late 2017, but it had its roots in the years before The Message came out.   I found the contemporary phrasing and language of The Message appealing.  I had been thinking about Romans 13, so decided to turn to The Message. But, I found it too, had a section separator between the verses seven and eight in the traditional way. I was disappointed.  I felt that verses 1-7 were treated as a separate unit from their context of chapter 12 and chapter 13, verses 8 to the end.  I had read that there is no punctuation in the Greek.  Especially important, the punctuation and section break that The Message and others insert in Romans 13 are not in the Greek. This information is available from several sources, but I found it in the Rita Haldeman Finger work cited below.


Where is the key to this passage? First, note that in the Greek the words translated “owe” and “due” in verses 7 & 8 are the same*.  “Nothing is due anyone except the debt of love.”—would be appropriate for the NET version.  The second translation smooths the transition to the focus of this section of Paul’s thought.  How does one justify translating the words differently in 7 and 8? How do verses 1-7 connect to verses 8-10?  How does one’s view of government influence punctuation and paragraph division?

Paul was writing to Christians in the capital city of an oppressive government.  Any writing clearly seen as encouraging allegiance another Lord/Caesar or to another kingdom would bring retribution.  Is “ordained of God” at odds with “nothing is due except the debt of love” . . .”  and Love does no harm to a neighbor? Dealing with the word “ordained” requires more attention than I want to give it.  Careful analysis of this term can be found in Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder, pages **.  Yoder says Paul is telling us that God has an order everywhere, whether a robber band or a supposedly democratic/republican form of government. Followers of God are to recognize that order.

However, “what is due” is tempered by what “does no harm to a neighbor”.  The academic dean at the college where I worked talked of his flights on a bomber crew in WWII.  He said did not feel hate towards the Germans as he was dropping bombs on them.  He was following the commands of his government to punish evil people.  The standard Paul took from Jesus did not come up on his radar.  (I didn’t then pursue the discussion partly because I was surprised by his statement and partly because he was the academic dean and I was a beginning librarian.)  But he clearly elevated “punish evil-doers” above “doing harm to a neighbor”.

If nothing is due “but the debt of love” what kind of response to government oppression of others is warranted by Christians? What should be our expectation of persons in government who claim to uphold Christian values? Is it possible that Paul was allowing for civil disobedience in the tradition of Shiphrah and Puah or following Daniel and his Hebrew brethren?  If “doing no harm to a neighbor” is primary, what is the response of those disadvantaged by our economic and political systems and the people who control and are controlled by those systems? If obeying the command to love one’s neighbor is the more important, then is Paul encouraging disobeying a government that commands its citizens to do “harm to one’s neighbor”?  In his time?  In ours?


My understanding is that the controlling thought of this part of Paul’s writing is verse 10: Love does no harm to a neighbor. The chapter builds to verse 10 (and, of course, to the thought of the soon return of the Lord). The broader context of the chapter connects it to 12:1-2 and Paul’s image of a “living sacrifice” (I prefer the expression “continuing gift”).  Paul, in Romans 13, while not on the same level as I Cor. 13, lifts up love as the key factor in our relationship to others. (Paul here sets love in the context of response to corrupt and violent authorities).  How does love control our response to authorities today?



*Based on the discussion in Reta Halteman Finger, Paul and the Roman House Churches.  Herald Press, 1993.  Page 140.

**Yoder, John Howard, Politics of Jesus.  Eerdmans, 1972.  Pp193ff.



Palm Sunday to Friday Night

Reflections on March 25 sermon by Philip Kanagy

Throw down the palms!

Spread out the cloaks!

Shout out hosannas!

Hail him who comes,

The king, the son of David.


On Friday night, a crowd has gathered,

One man awaits a sentence, one release.

One man, a teacher, healer,

One man, a thief and killer.


Then Pilate tries the healer to release,

The crowd yelled no hosannas.

Should I your king now crucify?

We have no king, but Caesar!


From Sunday’s palms to Friday’s yells,

By what strange course did people go,

from praises to a call for death.

Would we another go?

–David Alleman 3/27/18

The Poor, The President, and the Bible

[I was impressed with this blog.  It pulls together a number of things I have been considering recently about being a Christian in America. —David Alleman]

living in GRACEland

I’m going to be honest with you – the past couple years have been really disheartening for me as a believer and follower of Jesus. Not because of Jesus – no, Jesus is more dear to me now than ever before. As I get older and spend year after year getting to know Jesus better, I am completely overwhelmed by His perfect marriage of justice and mercy, by His unconditional love, by His lavish mercy, by His invitation to everyone everywhere to follow Him and bask in His love. No, it’s not Jesus who has broken my heart and disappointed me at my very core in a way that is difficult to explain. I have been thinking a lot about Gandhi’s words about Jesus and those who bear His name – (at least these words have been attributed to Gandhi, though he may not have been the one to say…

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Readings for the Ascension Journey

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 9:51


Day 45  9:51-52 Jesus sense of purpose

Day 44  9:53-56 – rejection by the Samaritans

Day 43  9:57-62 – the nature of discipleship

Day 42  10:1-16 – commissioning of the 70: preparing the way; 10:17-20 – return of the 70: priorities in success; 10:21-24 – Jesus; prayer and blessing;  Love, mercy, and listening as the heart of discipleship (10:25-42)

Day 41 10:25-28 – a lawyer’s challenge; 10:29-37 – parable of the Good Samaritan: mercy fulfills the law

Day 40  10:38-42 – Martha and Mary: the better part

Day 39  11:1-4 – Lord, teach us to pray;  11:5-8 – persistence brings help;  11:9-13 – children asking the father

Day 38  11:14-23 – Jesus’ power is from God not Satan  11:24-26 – an empty life invites intruders;  11:27-28 – the value of hearing and responding

Day 37  11:29-32 – the sign of Jonah: the need to repent;  11:33-36 – light and understanding

Day 36  6. 11:37-54 – condemnation of false piety: neglecting justice and love

Day 35  12:1-3 – warning against hypocrisy;  12:4-12 – encouragement to those who acknowledge Jesus

Day 34  12:13-21 – parable of the rich fool: the danger of possessions;  12:22-34 – trust in God eliminates anxiety

Day 33  12:35-48 – faithfulness to the Master

Day 32  12:49-52 – the coming judgment;  12:54-56 – reading the signs of the times;  12:57-59 – do not wait for the judgment;  13:1-5 – the need for repentance;  13:6-9 – the barren fig tree: a last chance

Day 31  13:10-17 – a crippled woman healed, and controversy;  13:18-19 – parables of the Kingdom: the mustard seed;  13:20-21 – parables of the Kingdom: leaven;  13:22-30 – the narrow door: reversal of expectations;  13:31-35 – Jerusalem: threat and lament

Day 30  14:1-6 – healing on the Sabbath;  14:7-11 – humility: human expectations not God’s;  14:12-14 – generosity beyond social conventions;  14:15-24 – parable of the banquet: anticipation of an unrestricted Kingdom

Day 29  14:25-33 – the cost of discipleship;  14:34-35 – warning against unfaithfulness

Day 28  15:1-2 – complaints against Jesus;  15:3-7 – the lost sheep: joy at the rescue of one;  15:8-10 – the lost coin found;  15:11-32 – loving father and 2 lost sons

Day 27  16:1-9 – parable of the dishonest manager;  16:10-15 – God’s economy: faithful in little;  16:16-18 – the abiding validity of the torah

Day 26  16:19-31 – the rich man and Lazarus: consequences of self-centeredness

Day 25  17:1-10 – disciples and community

Day 24  17:11-19 – 10 lepers cleansed: thankfulness

Day 23  17:20-21 – the Kingdom of God is present now;  17:22-37 – the end of the age

Day 22  18:1-8 – the unjust judge: patience in prayer

Day 21  18:9-14 – parable of the Pharisee and tax collector: self-righteousness

Day 20  3. 18:15-17 – receiving the Kingdom as a child

Day 19  18:18-30 – the rich ruler: the hindrance of wealth

Day 18  18:31-34 – Jesus again predicts his death

Day 17  18:35-43 – healing a blind man: sight and understanding

Day 16  19:1-10 – Zacchaeus: a model response to the Kingdom

Day 15  19:11-27 – the parable of the pounds: trusting servants with the Kingdom

Day 14  19:28-40 – Jerusalem:  the triumphal entry;  19:41-44 – Jesus weeps over the city and its future

Day 13  19:45-47 – the cleansing of the Temple

Day 12  20:1-8 – a challenge to Jesus’ authority

Day 11  20:9-19 – parable of the vineyard: rejecting the cornerstone

Day 10  20:20-26 – Trick questions: paying taxes to Caesar;  20:27-40 – more dishonest questions: the resurrection;  20:41-44 – is the Messiah a son of David?;  20:45-47 – the dangers of pride and self-righteousness;  21:1-4 – the widow’s offering

Day 9  21:5-36 Signs of the end and the coming of the Son of Man; call to vigilance and prayer;    21:37-38 – teaching in the temple

Day 8 Judas plans Betrayal; The Last Supper: 22:1-23
Day 7  22:24-38 Disciples’ problem: status, denial, purse, sword.

Day 6 Jesus praying, arrested, deserted, betrayed:  22:39-56-62
Day 5.  22:63-71; 23:1-25:  Jesus mocked, questioned, sentenced

Day 4.   23:1-25 Jesus before Pilate

Day 3.   23:26- 43 The Crucifixion of Jesus

Day 2.   Jesus death and burial:  23:44-56


1. New Day:  Easter:
Jesus Has Risen:  Luke 24:1-12
Day 2. Luke 24:13-49: Jesus appearances:

Day 3. John 21:1-14: Jesus appears to Mary

Day 4. John 21:19-31 Jesus appears in Galilee:

Day 5. Mark 16:1-20: He has been raised

Day 6: Matt. 16:1-28 Jesus will be raised

Day 7:  Mt. 20:  17-19: 3rd Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Day 8. Acts 5:17-22: Exalted him to His right hand

Day 9. Acts 13:13-44:  The one God raised up

Day 10. Hebrews 7:11-28:  He always lives to intercede

Day 11.  Ephesians 1:15-22:  Raised from the dead, seated in the heavenly realms

Day 12. 1 Thess. 1:  2-10:  He raised from the dead . . . Jesus our deliverer.

Day 13. Rom. 4:13-25:  Raised for our justification

Day 14.  2 Cor. 5:11-21:  Living for him who was raised

Day 15. I Cor. 15:1-16:  God indeed raised the Lord

Day 16.  Rom. 8:9-14:  Jesus, raised to life

Day. 17. Acts 1:1-5:  Learning about the kingdom; waiting for the spirit.

“He spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God.”

Day 18. Luke 4:40-44:  Preaching the Kingdom of God

Day 19. Luke 7:18-35:  Least in the Kingdom

Day 20. Luke 8:1-15:  Good news of the kingdom of God

Day 21. Luke 8:4-18: Secrets of the kingdom

Day 22.  Luke 9:1-6: Proclaiming the kingdom

Day 23.  Luke 9:10-17:  Healing, feeding and the kingdom

Day 24.  Luke 9:57-62:  Kingdom challenges

Day 25.  Luke 10:1-12:  The kingdom has come

Day 26.  Luke 11:14-23:  The kingdom has overtaken you

Day 27.  Luke 13:18-29:  What is the kingdom like? The banquet table.

Day 28.  Luke 14:15-24:  The kingdom banquet parable

Day 29.  Luke 16:1-18:  Priorities in the kingdom

Day 30. Luke 17:20-37:  Presence of the kingdom

Day 31. Luke 18:15-30:  Little children and wealthy rulers in the kingdom

Day 32:  Luke 19:11- 27 Kingdom work

Day 33:  Luke 19:28-40:  Receiving the King

Day 34. Luke 21:25-33:  Certainty of the kingdom

Day 35. Luke 22:7-30 I grant to you a kingdom

Day 36. Luke 22:33-56:  The thief remembered in the kingdom/paradise.

Day 37:  Acts 4:5-26: Healed by the name of him whom God raised Day 38:  Acts 2:14-36 “This Jesus, God raised up”

Day 39 (84):  Matt. 28:16-20:  He has been raised . . .  therefore go.

Day 40 (85):  Luke 24:50-53: during the blessing, he was taken up into heaven;

Acts 1:1-11:taken from you into heaven ….will come again.





Ascension Journey, A Lenten alternative

As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 NLT



Lenten materials arrived in my church mailbox.  They included scripture references.  I wondered which New Testament passages would explain Lent.  Not finding any, I started asking questions and doing some research.  The passage above helped me raise questions.


In the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the common language instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted for the period before Easter. This word initially simply meant spring (as in German language Lenz and Dutch lente) and derives from the Germanic root for long because in the spring the days visibly lengthen. The original Greek term for the period is tessarakoste, for the “fortieth day” before Easter. This form is preserved for the period in Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages (for example, Spanish cuaresma, Portuguese quaresma, French carême, Italian quaresima).  Depending on the tradition the 40 days are calculated in different ways.  Sundays are skipped in the Roman Catholic tradition because they are “mini-Easters.”  Some have connected the fasting of Lent to an imitation of Jesus time in the wilderness (which would end possibly about the beginning of Lent).  Later, Lent “floated” to connect with “Holy Week” observances.  The roots of Lenten observance are believed by some to extend back nearly to the time of the apostles.   It is interesting to note that observation of Lent became part of expected religious observance after Christianity became the official religion of the empire.


Traditionally, church guidelines for Lent include prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  In addition, some people feel experiencing suffering during this time is important.  This takes the form of not eating a favorite food, for instance.  We know Jesus spent time in meditation and prayer. Luke tells us that he went out to pray “a long time before day”.  Other places we are told of Jesus fasting.  No specific mention of meditation is made but the words of Jesus various places, especially John 14-17, suggest that times of meditation preceded the talks/prayer. Jesus gave up material goods and comforts even before the days leading to his death.  This is made clear by his words to the prospective follower:  “Birds have nests and rabbits their hole, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.”  I would affirm the blessing of these spiritual disciplines, not just for a period in the spring, but throughout the year.

Questions from my study

The question being asked is what is the nature of what Jesus did during his last days: forty-five to fifty days to Lent or the eighty days plus to the ascension?  I wondered why in the nearly fifty years that I had been a Christian I had never heard this question.  (I think during the first part of that period we had revivals, rather than Lenten observances.)  An internet search revealed that I could order an “I gave up Jesus for lent” T-shirt but little more.  Since the Mennonite Church emphasizes following Jesus’ example, it seemed appropriate to review the practice of Lent in light of that focus.  Many questions have come to me as I reflected on Jesus activities during his last 45/85 days.  What questions would you ask?

Luke 9:51 marks the beginning of Jesus last days on earth, those associated with Lent, Easter and the Ascension. Some see the transfiguration in Luke 9:28ff as the beginning of this period.  There are very few indicators of time elapsed in these chapters.  The NT writers are fond of the number 40, so it is surprising that Luke does not mention forty days (or 45, if weekends are included) or some time period. (Articles referenced below on the origins of Lent do not refer to Luke 9:51 and what Jesus did during his last days on earth.)

Last days activities

What did Jesus do during those last days before his death as he anticipated his ascension?  He clearly had a sense that this was a crucial time in his ministry. How did the pressure of his coming death and ascension influence his activities?  Surely the activities of Luke 9 through Luke 22 arose out of Jesus declaration in his first sermon (Luke 4).   Beyond that, Jesus, I believe, was preparing the way for continuation of kingdom work.  He began a new phase outreach by sending out seventy of his followers (chapter 10) to announce the coming of the kingdom. Once ascended, he would reign and provide intercession for his followers as they lived as they were created to live.  During the last days of his life, didn’t he continue to do what he announced what he would do? What indications are there that he simply prepared for his death? (Of course, he prepared for his death or the manner of his death at Gethsemane.) Just before the ascension declaration in 9:51, Jesus had told the disciples that he was going to Jerusalem where he would be killed and then raised from the dead.  Did he change what he was doing under the threats from religious and political leaders? To what extent is it true that the way he lived led to the cross; to the tomb; from the tomb to his exaltation as King?  Was this why Jesus came, to draw people to God, to establish the Kingdom of Heaven? to be acknowledged as king in the kingdom of God?


Much of the Christian church uses the period before Passion Week to anticipate Jesus’ death. Jesus, according to Luke, “As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.”   The question I am asking:  what does one do about the disconnect?

What does this suggest we should do to honor Jesus last days on earth?  Perhaps we should experience the last days on earth as he did.  We should be announcing the kingdom, doing the works of the kingdom, accepting the consequences of kingdom work and recognizing the vindication by God of what has been done through Jesus’ giving himself.   Then, praising God for raising Jesus to his right hand to be our intercessor.  I will be posting a list of readings from Luke 9:51 through Luke 24.  Later I will add scripture from Acts and other sources for the period leading up to the ascension.

re-blogged from Compost & Grace.

Making chili for the Virginia Relief Sale: A Weavers Mennonite Church Project

Getting Started

Danny and Shirley Trobough started the original chili project in 2002, making 10 gallons of chili in their home. Their small group contributed ingredients, helped with the cooking and sold the chili at the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale (supporting the Mennonite Central Committee’s work in disaster and famine relief).  In 2003, the Troboughs asked David Alleman if the Weavers Food Pantry Garden could donate some peppers and tomatoes.  About year later, the Relief Sale folk required that all food must be cooked in certified kitchens.  The project was transferred to Weavers’ Shady Oak kitchen.  So, the twenty gallons of chili were cooked at Shady Oak and transported to the sale where hungry folk made quick work of the peppers, tomatoes, meat and beans combined according to Danny’s recipe.  While the Troboughs served in Jamaica in Voluntary Service, they entrusted the project to Joe Earlys and David Allemans.

In 2003 and several years following, chili tomatoes and peppers mostly came from the parsonage garden.  Jan Kauffman harvested many of the tomatoes and peppers and the Allemans froze them in preparation for the early Saturday morning cooking.  The hot sauce Shirley made to accompany that chili included seven kinds of hot peppers.  Preparation of the chili continued to be coordinated by David Alleman and his small group and the sale by Joe and Janel Early’s small group over the next several years.

Getting ingredients

Sources of ingredients have shifted.  The last several years Seasons Bounty (produce) Farm has been giving us onions in exchange pulling onions for them.  In 2017 the 6th grade Vacation Bible School class, plus friends helped pulled about 25 plus bags (bushels?) of onions and we took about one bushel. For several years many peppers and tomatoes came from seconds solicited from several produce stands around the area or at the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market.  Sometimes we got thirds from sellers at the Shen Valley Produce Auction.  For the past several years, all of the peppers & tomatoes have come from Weavers Church members or their friends.  More than a bushel of tomatoes in 2017 came from our fellow volunteers at Gift & Thrift.  Beans for the chili came from the Clayton Maust farm in Michigan 2013-2015.  One year he brought 50 pound bags of black, pinto and red beans and told us to take the rest to local food banks (we needed only about 20 pounds).  For 2017 volunteers purchased and contributed canned beans.

Getting help

One of the most important recent developments is the help of the young adults:  Wengers, Kings and Wheelers and several others they have brought with them.  Next to that has been the increase in the amount of chili made to 40 gallons.  We have made twice as much chili in nearly the same amount of time.   Several members of the SAMS small group found ways to make our work more efficient.   The younger workers made the chili go better.   We no longer raise our own garlic.  One year, a volunteer used a garlic crusher to crush all 120 cloves needed for the chili.  This required pulling the skins out of the crusher.  That evening she developed a rash which lasted several days.  Now she donates minced garlic in a jar.  Organizing ingredients Friday afternoon has also been important.  One year, during transport of the chili to the Fairgrounds, a bucket of chili tipped over. Never did hear whose vehicle had the chili flavored floor mats. That unfortunate occurrence led to another improvement.  I am sure the Jeep owner was glad Roger and Linda Nelson found us some buckets with lids.

Getting it right

Over the years there has been push and pull between those who like thick, full flavored chili and those who like bean soup.  There’s also the tug between those like to feel pepper burn and those who like to “taste all the ingredients”.  Our Anaheim peppers were plentiful in 2017 and a bit warmer than normal.  To test the wisdom of using up to half Anaheims (for the peppers) in the chili, the Allemans made a gallon batch.  Then they invited five men home from church for a Sunday dinner of chili.  Turned out just right.  Cornbread helped and no one asked for the hot sauce.   For the past several years Jewel Yoder has been making a scotch bonnet pepper-based hot sauce.  The hot sauce has been essential for the heat lovers to add to their chili.  She has made enough for Janel and Joe to sell at the end of the chili sales.  Chili making has been a community effort.  In 2017 more than 20 people contributed ingredients needed to make the chili.  There were 12-16 people involved in making the chili and 6 to 8 involved in selling.

Getting started again?

Chili making to raise funds for famine and disaster relief through the Mennonite Central Committee may have ended in 2017 after 15 years.  Will another group pick up this pain-in-my-back, joyful, good-fellowship, profitable for others, service project?



What do we do about “widows and orphans” today?  


“God not made with our hands” sermon follow-up Micah Hurst (1/28/18)

Encourage prisoners.

Many residents of correctional institutions are there due in part to poverty conditions. Some are not. In most cases we will not know why they are there. Many are lonely. The men to whom I have written have expressed their appreciation of receiving letters.  Knowing people care about them may keep them from returning to a life of crime when they gain their freedom.  For a list of prisoners to write to see:  Support Jason Wagner through Virginia Mennonite Missions.  Jason is the chaplain at the local jail.

Aid to homeless, underemployed, addiction challenged

Our Community Place has provided a place for people without jobs, homes or who are underemployed to find a sense of belonging and some opportunities for improvement in their situations.  Some of the services there include transportation to Community Service Board, job interviews (including training for the interviews and contacts for jobs), help in finding rehab for addictions and support for dealing with the above challenges.  The social activities of game night and movie night, as well as the common meals helps with this.  Work day contributes with developing a sense of contributing to the good of all.

The Friday Noon Restaurant trains people in food service skills preparing them for new jobs. Enjoy eating there knowing that you are helping to train the people involved.  To raise funds for OCP, Night Out monthly restaurant staffed by a local chef provides an excellent meal.  February 14, 2018 meal features Sri Lankan food.  Periodic projects for churches or other groups (grounds clean-up, painting, garden preparation) give OCP the labor for extra projects beyond what the regular clients can provide.  Donations of garden produce and other goods are appreciated.  Fund raisers such as OCP Walk in the Fall and the Plant Sale the beginning of May are opportunities to support OCP.

Mercy House provides housing and related services to homeless.  See their website for more information or talk to Roy Early or Steve Yoder.  Mercy House currently (1/30/18) is in need of two people for after school activities for four (4) Fridays in the month of April or May from 4-5 p.m.  You can plan your own activities but start with a Bible story.  Children’s ages are 4 to 12.  Number of children will vary–1-10 (?).  To ask questions or volunteer, call Chaplain Nan at Mercy House 413-505-8285 or email–faith.html

Mercy House Store supports the work of Mercy House.  See Deb Huffman for more information.

Open Doors:  An overnight shelter for people who are homeless sponsored by local congregations in and around Harrisonburg.  Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 1804, Harrisonburg, VA 22803Office Phone Number:  540-705-1908.  Weavers has been investigating whether we can participate in this program.

Bridges of Hope works with homeless women with children connecting them with a social worker and a group of people who will help the woman become self-supporting.

Salvation Army:  Provides meals and temporary housing.  They usually need people to ring bells for fund-raising in November and December.  Weavers’ participants include Clayton Shenk and Julia Alleman.  540.434.4854

Weavers has been participating in the School Backpack Program for several years. A list of foods for this project will be listed in the Weavers bulletin when it is our month to fill backpacks.  Talk to Therese Leigh or another Outreach Committee member.

 Patchwork Pantry:  Provides food and basic personal items to families/individuals meeting basic criteria.  Patchwork Pantry especially need help during the hours open (just before and after, too) 6-7pm Wednesdays.  Donations of garden produce and non-perishables welcomed.  Located at Community Mennonite Church, South High and Water Street.  See the following for more about this organization:    and

People helping People is a cooperative ministry of churches in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia which helps people in an emergency crisis with resources and guidance. Weavers people have staffed phones for this organization.  When individuals come to Shady Oak for help, assistance is coordinated through People helping People.

Stopping sex trafficking

New Creation works to counteract sex trafficking through education, awareness, and raising money through selling items designed and made by former trafficked individuals.  See

Minister to new arrivals

New Bridges: Vision: “Through extensive training and experience in the particular dynamics that influence the lives of immigrants and refugees, the agency works diligently to engage immigrants, connect cultures, and build community with a vision for a thriving community that everyone can call home.”

Refugee Resettlement Program:  We worked with them when we helped Gakwandi and Angelique and family last year.

Work for famine and disaster relief

Gift & Thrift Store of Harrisonburg is part of Mennonite Central Committee.  MCC relates more to overseas people who have experienced disasters such as drought, storms, war and other disruptions to their lives making access to food, water and housing difficult.  In volunteering at the store one helps raise money for these projects.

Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale:  Raises money for development of resources to help people deal with their basic needs.  Money also goes to MCC to provide water food, clothing and temporary housing after war, floods and other disasters.

School kits are assembled to assist school children and distributed through Mennonite Central Committee.  The SAMS small group has been inviting others to participate in this project.

Other forms of service

Virginia Mennonite Missions:  In addition to showing the way to a new life, VMM workers provide meals, distribute Christmas boxes, staff schools and advocate for better treatment of marginalized persons (for instance, supporting prison ministry and seeking to bring an end to sex trafficking).

Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic

  • HRFC has more than 200 volunteers who support all aspects of our organization.  Many have worked with us for more than 5 years. Our volunteers feel there’s no better reward than being part of a dedicated team providing essential medical care to neighbors in need. Volunteers range in age from 18-85 and are working professionals, homemakers, students and retired individuals.  Clinical positions include Virginia-licensed doctors, PAs, NPs, nurses, EMTs, phlebotomists, pharmacists, pharmacy techs and others.  Non-medical positions include receptionists, eligibility interviewers, interpreters (French, Kurdish, Arabic, Spanish) and administrative assistants.  (If you have received medical insurance assistance or Medicaid assistance, part of your gratitude for these might be a contribution to HRFC.)


Ava Care Free pregnancy testing and confirmation – so you know for sure.

No specific information for Roberta Webb for volunteers.

Name: Roberta Webb Child Care Center
Address: 400 Kelley Street, Harrisonburg VA 22802
Contact Phone: (540) 434-8699


Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s research shows that young people who attend a Club regularly tend to do better than their peers nationally:

  • 68% of Club 12th graders volunteer at least once per month, compared with 39% of 12th graders nationally
  • 90% of Club ninth graders report abstaining from drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, compared with 77% of ninth graders nationally
  • 31% of Club girls ages 12 to 15 are physically active every day, compared with 23% of girls in the same age range nationally
  • A comparison of NYOI and National Survey on Drug Use and Health data suggests that low-income, regularly attending Club members ages 12 to 17 outperform their peers nationally on school grades.