Although we center our life together around our Sunday worship services, the lifeblood of our church is the work we do in smaller groups. Through these gatherings, we are involved in a range of activities, from service to fellowship to Bible study. Take a glance at our list below to see how you can best plug in.
Small groups are a core part of our life together. In them, we have a chance to get to know and support one another on a deeper level, as well as to discuss personal and corporate concerns. We have recently reorganized into five small groups that meet in different homes in the city of Indianapolis, some of which meet on weeknights and some of which meet on Sundays. If you are interested in joining a small group, contact us to help us find the right group for you.
Our church is not run like a hierarchical business, where the pastors are the C.E.O.s who make all of the decisions. Instead, the church is run through our ministry teams, which are open to anyone who wants to participate. The adult education ministry, building & grounds ministry, children & youth nurture ministry, fellowship ministry, outreach & welcome ministry, and worship ministry are always looking for new members and fresh ideas. We also have a pastor-elder team and gifts discernment team whose members are elected by the congregation at the beginning of each church year.
There are several opportunities for community service through Shalom Mennonite. There is a donation center at the back corner of our sanctuary for food and supplies, which we take to the local community center, Forest Manor. For those who want a more hands-on experience, we regularly participate in a program that provides temporary housing for homeless families by volunteering to cook, babysit, and drive participants in various shifts. We also participate in larger community events and work days periodically.
For those of us who want to have an ongoing and thorough study of the Scriptures together, a Bible study group meets at the church on Thursday evenings. If you would like to learn more about this, contact us to learn what book we are studying and on which days we are meeting.
Young Adult Book & Movie Discussion Group
Also on Thursday nights is a small group specifically designed for young adults. Every few months, they select a book to read together, one chapter at a time, discussing it in the group and leaving some time for prayer and sharing at the end. On the first Thursday of the month, they watch a movie and discuss it together. This is a great opportunity to get to know other young adults in our community.
On the first three Sundays of every month, our worship ensemble meets an hour before the worship service to practice songs that will be sung and played during the church service. If you have vocal or instrumental talent and would be willing to share it with our community, they would love to have you join them! Contact us to get in touch with the chair of our Worship Ministry.
The Peace Group aims to promote the cause of peace in our own congregation and throughout the city of Indianapolis. One of their main projects has been "the peace scholarship," an fund that they offer to students each year who research peace-related topics. They have also been involved in outside projects and are now responsible for nominating a representative to the newly formed Indianapolis Peace Church Coalition, an interchurch network of Mennonite, Brethren, and Quaker churches in Indy.
Creation Care Team
The creation care committee works to provide a community setting of nature and beauty for both the Shalom congregation and neighborhood. They are restoring a forest in an urban setting to provide educational opportunities as well as ecological stewardship. If you have a passion for the earth, this is the group for you!
Pastor of Administration and Outreach
Frank Kandel has been a life-long participant in the Mennonite Church. After retiring from his career as a farm equipment sales person, he studied for and received his Master of Divinity degree from the Associated Mennonite Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. Since graduating in 2010 he has served in several Mennonite churches as a Transitional Pastor—one who assists congregations in preparing for their next pastor. Frank enjoys leadership and reaching out to those on the margins. Frank and Linda like to spend time with their three grandchildren who live just down the street. You can reach Frank by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor of Worship
Sabrina Falls is a Recorded Friends (Quaker) minister of the Gospel with dual membership among Friends as well as with Shalom Mennonite Church. She was born and raised in New Jersey and in Pittsburgh, PA, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. After moving to Philadelphia, she met her husband David and became a Quaker, having been drawn to their sincere Christian faith and testimonies of peace and simplicity. In Philly, she worked as a paralegal and then joined the staff of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, where she served as a military counselor and editor of the Military Counselor's Manual, as well as bookkeeper.
In response to a sense of God's call to ministry, she moved with her husband David and son Michael to Richmond, Indiana to study at the Earlham School of Religion and received her Master of Divinity degree in 1995. Sabrina has served as a pastor for Presbyterian and Quaker congregations as well as a hospital chaplain and itinerant preacher. As a professional harpist she provides music for worship, weddings, memorial services, receptions, and special events and is a Certified Music Practitioner, playing live therapeutic music at the bedside of patients in hospitals, hospices, and homes. The delight of her life are her grandchildren, Caden and Evelyn, who live around the corner from her home. You can reach Sabrina by emailing her at email@example.com.