Witherspoon volunteers at Gould Farm in Monterey

Published 9:46 am Thursday, August 22, 2013

Witherspoon’s assignment to Gould Farm followed an orientation at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where a group of 24 volunteers came together from all over the United States and Germany. For three weeks, they lived together as a community and studied topics of nonviolence, peacemaking, human rights, and simple living. They also gained first-hand volunteer experience working with local organizations in New Windsor, Harrisburg, Pa. and New Oxford, Pa. Orientation builds community spirit among participants through personal sharing, fellowship and increased knowledge of the world.

Witherspoon is taking part in a long-standing tradition of ministry through service. BVS, established in 1948, works at advocating justice, peacemaking, serving human needs, and caring for creation. Approximately 85 current BVSers serve in the United States and abroad working with various peace and social/economic justice organizations. They focus on current social needs including care for children, youth and senior citizens; ecological issues; homelessness; refugee assistance; domestic and international peacemaking; and general community services. In exchange for their work, volunteers receive room, board and a small monthly stipend from their project. Brethren Volunteer Service, a program of the Church of the Brethren, is open to any person 18 years or older interested in service through a Christian program. Witherspoon can be reached through the BVS office at 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, Ill. 60120.

– article submitted by Julia Schmidt

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