The Administration Commission is pleased to announce a new partnership between CMC and Gemeinschaft. Since the Community Mennonite Church VS program is on a Covid-related hiatus, there are now new opportunities for ministry in the Dean House. Pastor Jason Gerlach (also secretary for Gemeinschaft's board) became aware of a new initiative to start a women's residential reentry program in Harrisonburg. (The main Gemeinschaft house on Mt. Clinton Pike only serves men.) The way now seems clear for this program to begin in the New Year, with up to four residents living on the 2nd floor of the Dean House–plus office space on the first floor–which is still in keeping with our (hard-fought!) re-zoned status with the city.
January will be a transition month for prep/touch-up work and the hope is to move residents in by early February. Not only is this an opportunity to support a trail-blazing new ministry in our community, but it puts to good use under-utilized CMC resources and provides a steady, if subsidized, rental income from the Dean House. It also happens to engage the most recent campaigns of Faith in Action, for local criminal justice reform and affordable housing!
Look for more news–and perhaps a virtual "tour" of the refurbished Dean House digs!–next month, and check out the current Gemeinschaft newsletter for more background information.
-Kent Davis Sensenig, CMC rental manager