Eastern District Conference / Franconia Mennonite Conference

Contents: About the Peace & Justice Committee

About Us - A Brief Overview

We are a joint conference committee, with financial support from both Franconia Mennonite Conference and Eastern District Conference (member conferences of Mennonite Church USA). Our dual-conference relationship has emerged over a period of several years, beginning about 2000. Most of the churches of both Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference are located in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, and our two conferences share office facilities in Harleysville, Pa.

The Peace and Justice committee has a speakers bureau - committee members and MCC staff are available for teaching, preaching, and for conversation about our work together. Please contact us if you would like help finding resources or a speaker for Sunday worship, a Sunday School class, or other church group. (See more details here)

Food Programs

The Peace and Justice Committee PJC provides general oversight for three food programs, each of which have their own coordinators and volunteer staff:
  • Grocery Bag Program: Collects grocery donations every winter for families in need in Philadelphia and New York City. In February 2007, 725 bags of groceries were collected for distribution to Brooklyn, Bronx, and Philadelphia under the leadership of Mary Keller and Judy Francis. This program changed in 2008 -- now individual congregations which would like to provide bags of groceries will be matched with specific urban churches or organizations in need of food.
    See Grocery Bag program or contact the MCC Material Resource Center in Ephrata at 717-733-2847 for more details.

  • MCC Meat Canner: Each spring we host the MCC meat canner usually for two or three days. In 2009, about 14,000 cans of pork were filled -- enough for about 140,000 meals, and some additional meat was donated to local outreach programs, including Graterford Prison Ministry. The MCC Meat Canner was at at Christopher Dock in 2009, and returned to the area March 28-30, 2011 (Monday - Wednesday). The facilities at Christopher Dock are no longer adequate to host the canner, so the canning operation has moved to the MCC Material Resource Center in Harleysville. (Volunteers may schedule work times through the Material Resource Center, 267-203-8074.) For further information, contact the program coordinator: Abe Landes, 215-723-3140.

  • Vegetable Basket Program: Donated fruits and vegetables are collected from local farmers and gardners, each year in coordination with with the Food Trust, a Philadelphia based non-profit organization which sets up farmers markets and negotiates with grocery chains to serve low-income communities. The program has delivered an abundance of fresh produce to several agencies that serve low-income people: In years with a good growing season, volunteers have processed and distributed over 10,000 lbs. of donated produce.

    The Vegetable Basket Project collects fruit and vegetables (from mid-July until early October). Drop off your produce on Monday mornings before 9:00 a.m. at any of the designated pickup locations (beginning July 9, 2012):

    • Care & Share Thrift Shoppe, 783 Route 113, Souderton, PA
      (drop off produce at the side covered porch, Furniture Shoppe)
    • Deep Run East Mennonite Church, 350 Kellers Church Road, Perkasie, PA
    • Blooming Glen Creamery Apartments, Route 113, Blooming Glen, PA
    • Indian Valley Faith Fellowship, 190 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA
    • Plains Mennonite Church, 50 Orvilla Road, Hatfield, PA 19440
    • Lamb Foundation (Cornucopia Cupboard), 114 N. Main Street, North Wales, PA

    Past summers have brought us abundant harvests, and we are pleased to be working with the Food Trust again this year.

    Note: September 24 was the last collection day for 2012. If there are growers who still have produce to donate, please take it directly to the closest Nutrition Coalition food pantry.

    For more information, see or contact Gabriella Mora at, or Bob Moyer 215-766-0825.

Peace and Justice Education

Winter Peace Retreat for adults and children. This annual retreat has been planned and hosted for over 40 years by the PJC. For several years this gathering has been held on the second weekend of February at Spruce Lake Retreat in the Pocono mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. ( See announcement of the February 10-12, 2012 retreat, or the next retreat February 8-10, 2013.)

The PJC also has been represented on the Boards of the Montgomery County Mediation Center which provides mediation services and intensive mediation training and Crossroads Community Center in Philadelphia.

From time to time the PJC also plans or co-sponsors other projects and programs, including an annual Peace & Justice Fall Gathering for local church representatives, and the 53rd annual Christmas Peace Pilgrimage from Nazareth to Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) on Dec. 8th, 2012.

We sometimes work directly with people in our local congregations to identify or provide peace resources, lead workshops, or arrange programs on current peace and justice topics. (See more information here).

Many of our congregations have given attention to youth and the military in response to the U.S. military buildup and intensive armed forces recruiting that began after 9/11/2001. We have periodically hosted workshops on on military, draft, and voluntary service options conscientious objection (such as "Why Object" , in March 2007; and "Was Jesus a Conscientous Objector?" in April 2009) for youth, parents, and youth leaders.

We have also sponsored several pastors and leaders seminars on topics such as "preaching peace", "pastoral care for traumatized people", and "our immigrant neighbors".

Who we are

Current members of the Peace and Justice Committee are:
  • Carolynn Boyd
  • Jason Hedrick (Chair)
  • Jeff Hackman
  • Samantha Lioi (Peace & Justice Minister)
  • Bob Moyer (Secretary)
  • Bob Walden (Communications)
  • Wally Wolff
  • Anne Yoder

  • Peace Resources

    Here are a few links from our Peace Resource pages: (If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us).

    Contact the Peace and Justice Committee

    For further information about the PJC or any of the activities listed here, please contact us.
    We welcome opportunities to work together with other Mennonite peace committees on issues of mutual concern.
    Also see the Peace Resource page for other Peace and Justice resources.

    Last Updated: December 29, 2012