By Mennonite Mission Network staff
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Mennonite Mission Network (MMN), with the endorsement of local partner congregations, has made the decision to close the Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) unit in Washington, DC. The unit house will be sold and the proceeds used to directly support nonprofits that fight racism.

MVS is a service program offered through MMN for people ages 20 and older. Established in 1944, MVS is a practical, peaceful alternative to serving in the military. Over the years, MVS participants have played integral roles in transforming social systems relating to health, education, immigration, food, housing and more. Additional MVS unit locations include Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Alamosa, Colorado, Chicago, San Francisco, and Tucson, Arizona.

The DC unit currently has two supporting congregations: Hyattsville Mennonite Church, Hyattsville, MD; and Community House Church, Washington, DC.

In March of 2021, staff from MMN and the DC congregations met to discuss the possibilities of transferring the administration of the DC MVS unit to the churches. Both realized that community needs have changed, and determined it was best to close the DC unit. The MVS unit house will be sold in August 2022.

Marisa Smucker, MMN Senior Executive for Ventures, said, "The house items will be distributed to area non-profit organizations and social service agencies. Both MMN and the DC congregations agree that selling the MVS home and using the proceeds to help empower organizations that are working toward the same anti-racism goals is the best path forward at this time."

The DC MVS unit entered a sabbatical period in 2021, further supporting timing of the closing in 2022. Going forward both entities will explore ways to further their outreach to better meet the needs of the DC community. 

 

 

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