In Community & Mutual Care
House Churches (or what some churches call “Small Groups”) are a wonderful opportunity both to get to know others better and to experience the community aspect of church in a more intentional way. Groups vary in size and also in focus. Some undertake mission projects, some study books, some spend time sharing and praying together, many share a meal every time they gather – the agenda and schedule (most meet once a month) is up to each individual group. House churches often cook our Wednesday night suppers as a group activity as well. Let the pastors know if you would like to join a house church, or start a new one.
All men, young and old, are invited to the monthly Men’s Breakfast, the 4th Saturday of every month. Join the group at 8:00 AM in the church Fellowship Hall. We share some food, fun, fellowship, and laughter (so bring along any wit or wisdom you would like to share with the group). Often we spend some time discussing current events. Occasionally we have a planned presentation by a member (or guest) of the group, in which they share about their work, a hobby, or part of their life story.
The Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church Chancel Choir is an integral part of worship at the church, as it has been for many years. It is also a wonderful opportunity to experience community. The choir has 25 – 30 singers, and serves in worship from September through May of each year. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Repertoire is varied and consists of standard anthems by contemporary composers as well as more classical or traditional literature. In addition to singing at Sunday services, the choir is the central part of the Christmas Eve service each year. Palm Sunday and Easter are also occasions for seasonal music, often incorporating the “Shining Lights” children’s choir. New singers are always welcome.
This committee of church members, some of whom are medical professionals, seeks to nurture and encourage wholeness within the church family. They perform monthly blood pressure checks, write helpful monthly health articles in the Messenger, take baskets of “goodies” to members who have been in the hospital, and check on those with health problems, or those who have been ill. They also have created a file of Medical Emergency Information for members, and have compiled a list of medical equipment available for members to borrow from one another. The Wellness Room, which they maintain, offers brochures on health issues.
Yoga developed as a deeply spiritual practice which, while not explicitly Christian, is nevertheless in harmony with the Bible’s emphasis on health and wholeness of body, mind, and soul. At LAMC, yoga is taught and practiced as a means of caring for ourselves as created in God’s own image. In the yoga class at LAMC we practice the stress management technique of mindful breathing as well as the yoga poses. Yoga breathing is the core of a yoga practice, and can be used to correct any imbalance. Yoga is not a quick fix, but is a practical and enjoyable way of learning to be the primary caretaker of your life. Church member Donna Froese, who leads the class, has been practicing yoga for many years, and began teaching in 1996. In this class Donna adapts the movements to any age or level of ability, emphasizing that participants should do what they can physically, not in competition with each other, but each within their own ability to activate this new way of moving, balancing, breathing and strengthening. The class is offered three times a week (donations are welcome): Mondays, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.; and Fridays, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. All are welcome.
Camp Mennoscah is a Mennonite camp and retreat center located approximately 40 miles west of Wichita on the beautiful Ninnescah River. We gather there every first weekend of June for our annual “Camp Retreat.” A variety of accommodations are available. Saturday’s schedule includes swimming, games, a hamburger cookout, Talent Show, and a campfire. The Sunday morning worship is held outdoors on a covered patio, and often includes the baptism and reception of new members. It is followed by a potluck meal (in where everyone brings a favorite hot dish, salad, or dessert). Individuals can also participate in the Grandparents / Grandchildren camps, Men’s camp, Women’s camp, Family camps, and the Work and Play camp. The Camp’s Retreat Center is available for family reunions, Sunday School class meetings, Church council meetings, school groups, etc. Our church supports the camp financially, and by occasionally providing volunteers to help in the kitchen, as cabins counselors, or to serve in other capacities.
The purpose of Camp Mennoscah is to make God personal, living real, nature instructive, leisure meaningful, and service challenging.
Every Wednesday evening from February through April and September through November we gather in the church fellowship hall for supper, after which there are planned activities for the children and youth, and an optional Bible study for adults. Volunteers (often House Churches) take turns preparing the meal, for which there is a modest charge of $4 per person or $15 per family of four or more. The meal is served buffet style from 5:45 until 6:30. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit together in an informal setting. We also take some time to share announcements, joys, concerns, and offer a prayer of thanks (often by singing) for the meal. The children’s activities and Bible study begin at 6:30 and last until 7:30. A staffed nursery is provided during this hour.
The Discipleship Group formed following a church-wide initiative to go deeper in our spirituality by exploring a variety of spiritual disciplines. Members of the group meet twice a month for an hour and a half. In addition to sharing their joys and concerns (or “happies and crappies”) with one another in a context of prayer, they have read and discussed books about Christian faith and spirituality, followed seasonal guides for daily worship, and practiced Centering Prayer. New members can be added or new groups formed as interest arises.