Assembly terminology

2% offering
On the first Sunday of the month we have two baskets for offerings –one for our regular tithes and offerings; and the other for our 2% offering — 2% of our income which is disbursed to impoverished people locally and in the 2/3rds world. We do this as an act of restitution for injustices in economic distribution. The 2% committee determines how to distribute the funds.

An opportunity for anyone to make oral announcements at the end of worship. Brevity is valued. We also have a weekly newsletter, called the Assemblyline where announcements are shared. Assemblyline announcements should be emailed to by 8 a.m. on Fridays.

Weekly announcements; available online, on paper, or by email. You can also find paper copies of the Assemblyline on the literature table. You can subscribe to receive the Assemblyline via email by clicking here.

Birthday candle and ice cream visit
Assembly children up through middle school are celebrated with a birthday candle during first hour on a Sunday close to the child’s birthday, along with a few sentences about the child in that week’s Assemblyline. Children ages 3 through grade 8 get taken out for ice cream by a member of the pastoral team each year for the child’s birthday. To ensure your children can participate in this tradition, give your children’s names and birthdates to the Administrative Assistant by filling out the Contact Form.

CDC or Central District Conference
Assembly is a member of  Central District Conference

Congregational meeting
Assembly does not have a traditional church council or church board. Instead, there are monthly gatherings of all interested adults to discuss congregational business and make decisions.

When used with a capital F, “Faith” refers to Faith Mennonite Church, our sister congregation that meets in the same building on Sunday evenings.

Fellowship break
Time for coffee, tea and conversation between first and second hours during the school year, and following worship during the summer. Help yourself to any mug.

First hour
Not really an hour in length. The first portion of the morning worship service, from 9:30-10:45 or 11am.

Gathering space
The area just outside the worship space with the mailboxes. Also called the lobby or the narthex.

Junior youth
Grades 6-8

Leadership Group
The closest Assembly equivalent to a church council or church board. Six elders, 1-2 apprentice elders, and the pastoral team, who meet at least once a month to provide support for the pastoral team and do initial processing of church business to prepare for congregational meetings.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer/Questioning. Assembly is a “welcoming” congregation, meaning that all people who are LGBTQ are welcome to worship with us and be fully part of the congregation.

We maintain a local email list serve for time-sensitive announcements. We also have a list serve for parents, with information related to children’s activities at Assembly. To sign up for these email lists, click here, or email or fill out the information sheet at the end of the Assembly Survival Kit. 

Mennonite Central Committee

Ministry Team (as compared to committee and task force)
A group of people who wish to give focused attention to a specific faith-related issue. Two current examples are the Racial Justice Ministry Team and Creation Care Ministry Team. Ministry teams vary from Assembly committees and task forces by having voluntary membership and a life span determined by the members. Committees and task forces are appointed by leadership group and/or congregational discernment. Committees renew annually through the leader selection process. Task forces end when their task is completed.

Multipurpose space
Overflow space added at the north end of the worship space through the use of divider curtains. It is also used for fellowship break, fellowship meals, elective classrooms, and during the week, a preschool classroom.  We are in the midst of working on a plan to address our space needs for Sunday morning worship and Sunday school.

Mennonite Youth Fellowship, grades 9-12

Pastoral team
Assembly’s team of three co-pastors which functions as a support/guide for the congregation, with an intentionally non-hierarchical structure. The pastors do not set the agenda or “lead” the congregation in a traditional sense. You may not even see any of the pastors up front on a Sunday morning. Assembly thinks of leadership a bit differently than many churches, so you don’t have to be officially welcomed by the pastor to become a part of the congregation. Still, they’d very much like to meet you, so don’t hesitate to ask around if they don’t happen to be up front on the mornings you’ve attended so far. Email is a great way to contact the pastors: Lora Nafziger and Karl Shelly. To contact either of them or the church office, fill out the Contact Form.

Phone list
The Assembly phone list is updated several times a year and is therefore the most up-to-date version of an Assembly directory at any given time. Check the rack to the right of the literature table (on the side of the mailboxes) for copies, or find it on this website by clicking here (you will need the username and password which any regular Assembly attender can give you).

Privileges of the Child
A long-cherished document for Assembly; it can be found on this website here. Children’s time is an important part of our worship together; ages three through grade school children are welcome to come up front. Little children’s time for children under three takes place across the hall from the worship space in the first classroom. Child care for pre-school children is available in this classroom after children’s time. Some parents with young children like to use the rocking chairs in the back of the worship space. We have a total of 10 Sunday school classes, based on age/grade. Ask any friendly-looking adult to help you find the right room and teacher.

Given the preciousness of our children and youth and their potential vulnerability to abuse, we covenant for their safety and full participation in our community. Out of our commitment to love and care for all of God’s creation we make a covenant to our children, youth, adults, families and community. This Covenant, along with Assembly’s “Digital Communications Policy” and “How to Report Suspect Abuse” can be found here.

Short for “Small group representatives.” Small groups are the building block of Assembly life, pastoral care and general functioning. Each small group has a rep, and reps meet monthly during the school year to share and process congregational needs. Small group reps also select congregational elders on behalf of their groups. Small groups take turns with tasks such as Sunday morning clean-up and hosting K-5 activity nights. Small groups also do some processing of congregational business.

Second hour and electives
Assembly does not have adult Sunday school classes. Instead, adults not involved in teaching Sunday school re-gather as one group in the worship space for “second hour,” which includes a variety of activities.

Set up
Because we share our space, we have volunteer set-up and clean-up tasks to do each Sunday morning.  “Set up” typically refers to setting up chairs, song books and other items in the worship space.

Small group shuffle
An annual opportunity for people to join or change small groups. Shuffling is not mandated, but most groups shift in some way about every three years, with the goal of several new groups forming each fall. Small groups are an important part of the life of Assembly. Contact Karl Shelly via the  Contact Form to learn more about joining a small group.

Supportive Communities Network or SCN
A network of churches and other groups who support and welcome Christians who are GLBTQ (see above). Assembly is a member of SCN, which is associated with BMC, the Brethren-Mennonite Council for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Interests.

Worship space
Often called a “sanctuary” in other church buildings.