Rochester is a large city in the Finger Lakes region of western New York that proudly carries a progressive legacy of social activism. Today, Rochester is a vibrant community with an active cultural scene that is bolstered by the presence of the Eastman School of Music; by dance, theater and other arts; by numerous sports teams; and by easy access to natural and outdoor activities.
Rochester also features many of the social problems endemic to American cities: profound racial divisions, extremes of wealth and poverty, “food deserts” in low-income neighborhoods, income-related health issues, and troubled schools.
The primary goal of the Rochester MVS unit is to form relationships in our community in an effort to address these social issues through solidarity and service. The MVS unit is located in a mixed-race, low-income neighborhood in the southwest quadrant of the city near the Genesee River. The four-bedroom household includes a young couple from the Mennonite congregation in Rochester, who own the house and live in community with the volunteers. MVSers take city buses or bike/walk to their work placements, and a unit car is available for shopping and unit activities.
The Rochester MVS unit is a ministry of Rochester Area Mennonite Fellowship, which desires to bring a blessing of healing and hope to those parts of our city in need of transformation. We are a progressive congregation called to Christ-centered living, to promoting inclusive community living, and to promoting peace and justice in our world. Many of our members have chosen vocations that live out these principles, and many of us have past experience in various forms of Christian service, both domestically and abroad. A support team from the congregation oversees the MVS house and meets with MVSers to support their growth as individuals and as a community.
We are especially interested in MVSers who are committed to building on and developing relationships in our neighborhood, in all areas. Restorative justice, urban food justice, education, and health care are possible areas of work. In the past, we have worked closely with organizations like:
We welcome applicants who share an interest in pursuing relationships in our community in any of these ways, or in others. Tell us your passion and we will seek to find an appropriate placement that can use your gifts to meet these goals.