The following terms are used in the MVSA Handbook:

MVS Volunteers: Volunteers are individuals who bring unique skills, feelings and motivations to a full-time assignment.

All Volunteers commit to:

  • walking with the disadvantaged and those who suffer from injustice.
  • participating enthusiastically in issues and activities of the local faith community and the local neighbourhood.
  • living simply in a shared household where caring relationships can be affirmed and nurtured.
  • learning from new cultural settings where perceptions and outlooks may vary from one's own.

The MVS program is organized primarily for the benefit of single young adults, although older applicants and married couples will be considered on an individual basis by Units which can accommodate them.

No conditions are placed on older volunteers other than that they be compatible with the unit, and that they participate fully in the life of the unit.

Married couples will negotiate with the unit of their choice. Considerations to be discussed are:

  • Can the unit accept a couple - e.g. can the house provide the accommodation?
  • Does the couple look like a good fit with the existing volunteers?
  • Will both members be volunteers, or just one?
  • If only one is volunteering, how is the cost of the second going to be covered?
  • If only one is volunteering, does the non-volunteer understand he/she will participate fully in the life of the Unit?
  • Depending on the Unit of choice, there will be other factors which will need to be discussed.

It is unlikely that a Unit will be able to accommodate a couple with children, but that situation can be explored with individual units.

Unit: An MVS Unit is one or more individual living in a common residence in a particular geographic area and sharing living responsibilities and resources while serving to meet human needs.

Local Leadership: The MVS committee of the sponsoring congregation, or the person hired by the congregation to run the program.

Management Board: The Board is made up of representatives of each of the MVS congregations. It is responsible for guiding the ongoing activities of the program. The Board implements policy, conducts recruitment, and supports the local leadership.

Steering Committee: The Steering Committee is made up of Mennonites from MVS congregations and members of each of the five area conferences. It is responsible for developing policy, and has general oversight responsibility for all activities of the association.

Christliche Dienste and EREINE: These are two agencies in Germany from whom MVSA receives volunteers for one year terms. For some German volunteers MVS is an alternative to military service.

Management Board maintains an agreements with Christliche Dienste and EREINE, currently our only partnering agencies.

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 3:11
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