Giving Back To The Community
Hospitality has been a central focus for Faith Mennonite since it was founded in 1990 by a small group from Assembly Mennonite in Goshen to connect with people from the neighborhood who had no church home. Since then, Assembly has continued to offer Faith the use of its building for the congregation’s weekly Sunday evening worship service and meal. The congregation now consists of 80 to 90 people from a range of socio-economic and educational backgrounds.
Faith purchased its first house (Faith House) for hospitality in 2006 and it’s second (Hope House) in 2017. Between the two houses, there is now space for three to four guests and live-in long-term hosts. Guests stay six to 12 weeks while they work toward arranging more permanent housing. Most guests have some physical or mental health challenges which has lead to their homelessness.
Besides providing emergency housing the houses also are the hub of activity for both formal and informal gatherings. People bring their laundry. Faith’s youth and some small groups gather there regularly. Open Table Mennonite Fellowship, a CDC congregation that grew out of both Assembly and Faith, meets at the Faith House on Sunday mornings for worship and a meal. The combination of uses creates a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing of our guests.
Offering short-term transitional housing is crucial for people moving out of homelessness, and it’s not easy to find. Faith Mennonite believes this is one concrete way as a congregation we can share the love of Christ in our City of Goshen, and to grow in relationship with our neighbors.