Congregational Profile: Deep Run East Mennonite Church

by Sharon Rice, Deep Run East congregation

As one of the oldest congregations in Franconia Conference (founded in the mid-1700s), Deep Run East in Perkasie, PA seeks to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, with prayer as our foundation.  We at Deep Run East envision a community of faith that will glorify God in worship, open our lives to our community, and share our gifts and resources in faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

Sorting socks at Hands in Service (photo by Barb Rice)

For the past 7 years, we have been participating in something we call “Salt and Light.”  The idea originated from an ​article our mission commission read that was about an alternative to traditional Sunday morning worship, in which we would go outside the church building to worship by serving the community. 

Building upon this idea, we began a Salt and Light Sunday in 2012.  People signed up for various service projects, from doing yard work for neighbors to picking up trash along the roads, to visiting the elderly and shut-ins, to volunteering in a food pantry, and more.  After our morning activities we gathered back at the church to share about our experiences.  Many of us found this practice invaluable and rewarding. 

Pricing items at Worthwhile Thrift (photo by Barb Rice)

It was decided that we would continue this as an annual event.  ​Starting in 2013, we did “Saturday Salt & Light Day.” Then in 2015 we went back to Sunday and in 2017 did “Salt & Light Weekend,” with projects available on both days. After each Salt and Light day or weekend, we met back at the church to discuss our experiences in serving.

This year, the mission commission defined the vision of Salt and Light as the following: “Salt and Light seeks to cultivate a lifestyle of service in members of Deep Run East by engaging in the regular practice of serving others as we are called to do by Jesus.”  We further decided to extend Salt and Light to be a ​season​ of serving during Lent.  Doing this provided opportunities for individuals to participate in more than one project if desired.  Projects included counting pills for a Healthy Ninos trip, serving at Hands in Service (Warrington), helping at Pennridge FISH, sorting clothing and other merchandise at the new Plumsteadville Worthwhile Thrift Store, and much more.  The Sunday after Lent, people again had the opportunity to share regarding their experiences.

The group who volunteered at Worthwhile Thrift (photo by Terri Nyce)

We had a positive response to turning Salt and Light into a season. Doing so provided more flexibility for people with busy schedules to participate. Our goal as followers of Jesus is to incorporate this type of service as a ​lifestyle​ rather than simply as a once-and-done event to check off our “to-do” list, and we are believing that we have a good start! 


Prayer requests for Deep Run East:
*  for our Summer Bible School Leaders, our many volunteer crew leaders/teachers and the approximately 170 children and youth that will attend our programs from June 24-28. Our prayer is that God’s Spirit will be at work in the lives of the children and their families, and that many seeds of Christ’s Kingdom will be planted.

* for our “Building on the Past, Envisioning the Future” process as we intentionally dream together and seek out ways to use our resources at DRE to bless and fulfill needs in our local community.

* prayer as we seek to build relationships in our community, that as we meet new people these may turn into growing friendships.