This article originally appeared in Conference Connections, a publication of Mountain States Mennonite Conference.
Sam Moyer moved to Colorado for Mennonite Voluntary Service, and he loved the climate, the outdoor sports, and the local congregation (Boulder Mennonite Church).
So then he moved thousands of miles away.
His reason? He had a clear commitment to serving others in “ways that make for peace.”
Moyer is now completing his second of three years on the Bridge Builders mediation training team in London. Inaugurated in January 1996, Bridge Builders was launched under the joint leadership of Nelson Kraybill, then director of London Mennonite Centre, and Alastair McKay, current director of Bridge Builders. Their aim was to train Christian leaders and church members in Britain how to approach conflict more constructively, and to see conflict transformed, to facilitate growth and healing in the life of the church. Through his work, Sam applies his psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies training from Goshen College, and new skills gained from the Bridge Builders program, with his ongoing commitment to peace-building.
“The ministry of Bridge Builders is a good example of how Mennonite witness has taken shape in the U.K.,” said Tim Foley, Mission Network’s director for Europe. “Rather than start new Mennonite organizations, our workers and grants have enabled local initiative and ownership.”
For Sam, the work has challenged and stretched him. “It’s been really satisfying to have come from learning alongside the ‘students’ to this stage of working as a co-leader,” he said. “It’s so gratifying when a participant who initially comes to a course with doubts about the value or effectiveness of the skills that we teach, has something really positive to say.”
Moyer, formerly of Vermont, started his Mennonite Voluntary Service term in 2007 after graduating from Goshen College. Through this Mennonite Mission Network service program, Moyer was placed with the Secure World Foundation, followed by the Humane Society of Boulder. His MVS household has been hosted by an MVS support committee at Boulder Mennonite Church since June 1993.
London’s culture and weather has been a bit of a shift for Sam, but city living hasn’t stopped him from doing some serious biking, or from finding ways to run (either on city streets or in regional half-marathons) – and he’s learned some new spellings and catchy British phrases.
Melanie Hess of Mennonite Mission Network contributed to this story.
Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA, leads, mobilizes and equips the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ in a broken world. Media may contact Andrew Clouse at firstname.lastname@example.org, 574-523-3024 or 866-866-2872, ext. 23024.