Annual Gathering 2017

Creating Healing Environments

MHF Annual Gathering 2017!

Creating Healing Environments

Annual Gathering 2017 Logo

Co-hosted with the Mennonite Chaplains Association

Annual Gathering 2017

Creating Healing Environments

June 23-25, 2017
Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania 

Register for the 2017 Annual Gathering Carpooling Opportunities

Plenary Session Presentations

Friday evening, June 23 – Opening Plenary

Donna MinterEngaging the Anabaptist Vision: Healing in the Way of Jesus
Donna Minter

Theologian Palmer Becker powerfully summarizes the Anabaptist Vision by challenging us to keep (1) Jesus as the center of our faith, (2) Community as the center of our life, and (3) Reconciliation as the center of our work. In this session we will examine and integrate Biblical scriptures to discover how to be trauma-informed, resilient-oriented, and restorative-focused faithful healthcare professionals practicing healing for reconciliation in and outside the church.

Saturday morning, June 24

John WengerHealing Spaces within 21st Century Healthcare Systems
John Wenger

From Primary Care to Administrative leadership, Dr. John Wenger will be sharing insights into how we can identify and encourage healing spaces in a complex and often dysfunctional health care system. There is a wondrous mystery to healing! Learning to better recognize the essential elements needed to facilitate healing, both within our thoughts and attitudes as well as physical structures and surroundings, is very much needed amongst health care workers in all disciplines. The more we collectively identify what health and healing is, the more effective our care delivery can be.

Saturday evening, June 24

David BakerHealing in the Third Age
David Baker

Using Erick Erickson’s personality theory and a Christian lens, Dr. David Baker will explore the challenges and opportunities of last stage of life. In particular, he will discuss creating space for healing in the post-65 era of life by owning one’s life choices and history, fully engaging health and life, and facing mortality and death.

Sunday morning, June 25 

Healing through Sharing Song and Story
Tony Brown

This experiential presentation will utilize songs and stories of peace, hope and justice with intent to create transformation, demonstrating the healing power of music.


Leaves for the Healing of the Nations: Addressing the Spiritual Roots of the Climate Crisis
Katerina Friesen

Climate change represents a fundamental spiritual problem, a breakdown of human relationships with the rest of creation and with God. In response to this planetary health crisis, how might our communities of work and worship as Anabaptist Christians contribute to the healing of the nations, one neighborhood at a time?

Workshop Sessions

You can find full descriptions of the sessions on the Workshop Sessions page.

Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) – Donna Minter

Repairing the Breach: Churches as Sites of Environmental Healing and Food System Change – Katerina Friesen

Healing the Layers: Nutrition and Embodied Practices of Reconnection – Julia Baker

One Disease: Redox Imbalance as the Root Cause of Chronic Disease – Michael Sherer

Restoring Trauma-Informed Care: Keeping Ourselves Accountable with Cultural Humility and Social Consciousness – Aaron Erb

Training in the Healing Professions – Randy Longenecker, Shari Leidig Holland, and panel

Aging: A time for family conversations—and healing – Marlene and Gerald Kaufman

Healing Conversations around Contentious Subjects – Kenton Derstine

Mobilization for Service Reports – Grant Recipients


2017 Annual Gathering Schedule

Following is a schedule of events for the Annual Gathering 2017, June 23-25, 2017, at the in Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. We also have an "easy to print" PDF version of the Annual Gathering Schedule.

Friday, June 23
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.Mennonite Chaplains Association Meeting
3:00 p.m.General Registration opens
5:15 p.m.Supper
7:00 p.m.Worship/Plenary Session - "Engaging the Anabaptist Vision: Healing in the Way of Jesus" –Donna Minter
8:30 p.m.Snacks and Fellowship
Music by Brad Yoder
Saturday, June 24
7:15 a.m.Breakfast
8:30 a.m.Worship/Plenary session - "Healing Spaces within 21st Century Healthcare Systems" –John Wenger
10:30 a.m.Workshop Session 1
12:00 noonLunch
1:00 p.m.Workshop Session 2
2:15 p.m.Workshop Session 3
3:30 p.m.Workshop Session 4
4:45 p.m.Free time for recreation/networking
5:15 p.m.Dinner
7:00 p.m.Worship/Plenary Session - "Healing in the Third Age" –David Baker
8:30 p.m.Hymn Sing, followed by ice cream social
Sunday, June 25
7:15 a.m.Breakfast
8:15-8:45 a.m.Centering Prayer - led by J. Melvin Janzen
9:00 a.m.Experiencing Healing - "Healing through Sharing Song and Story" –Anthony Brown
10:30 a.m.Worship/Concluding Plenary Session - "Leaves for the Healing of the Nations: Addressing the Spiritual Roots of the Climate Crisis" –Katerina Friesen
12:00 noonLunch
12:00 noonRoom Checkout

More information

Essay Scholarship

Students, residents, and other professionals in training are encouraged to submit an essay (under 2,000 words) on the theme Creating Healing Environments from their respective perspectives and experiences to by March 31, 2017. Read the qualification requirements, full essay prompt and award details before beginning. In addition to publication of qualifying submissions in the Mennonite Health Journal, 4 awardees will be sponsored to attend the 2017 or a future Annual Gathering.