Term of Service

Philosophy: MVSA sees one of its strengths as being committed to local congregational outreach for the long term. The longer one is in a community, the more able one is to identify with the joy and sorrow of that community.

Length of Term: The preferred length of service is two years, although terms of greater or lesser lengths will be considered.

Short-term Service: Occasionally, the local leadership or an individual will arrange a term for less than a full year. The local leadership works out the details of a short-term assignment on a case-by-case basis.

Prior Service: Volunteers who have served with another Mennonite voluntary service program within the year prior to entering MVS may count this time as "prior service" in determining the length of time in MVS for adjusted allowances. A clear understanding of how much time will be counted should be reached with the local leadership and indicated in the MVS Covenant.

Changes in Assignment: Occasionally a reassignment to a different position or to a different location is necessary because of changes in programs-e.g., closing of Unit, changes in placements-or because the welfare of the volunteer or of the project makes it advisable. Volunteers are encouraged to keep local leadership informed of circumstances that might necessitate changes in their assignments. All changes are made in consultation with the local leadership, after a careful review of the program and the situation of the individual volunteer.

Extension of Term: Volunteers who are interested in extending their terms of service should discuss their interests with local leadership as early as possible. Extensions are not automatically granted, but depend upon program considerations.

End of Term of Service: An MVSA term ends on the date agreed upon at the time a volunteer enters the program. Occasionally, volunteers may be asked to extend their terms anywhere from a few days to a few months in order that their terms may overlap with those of their replacements.

Voluntary Early Termination: Occasionally program changes and/or changes in an individual volunteer's situation may make it necessary for the local leadership or agency to terminate the position early. When this is the case, the MVSA unit pays the volunteer's travel expenses home. Otherwise, volunteers are expected to remain in their assignments until the agreed upon termination date.

If a volunteer wants to terminate for personal reasons, he/she must discuss the situation with the local leadership. An attempt will be made to find alternatives to termination. If none is found, a healthy way for the volunteer to end his/her term will be worked upon with all parties involved.

When early termination is not initiated by the local leadership, the volunteer is responsible to cover transportation costs home.

Involuntary Early Termination: A volunteer may be asked by the local leadership to leave the Unit, with or without cause. Before such termination is initiated, conversations will take place between the local leadership, the volunteer, and also with the Unit. The Management board will be advised of this development.

If the involuntary termination is a disciplinary measure the volunteer may be responsible for transportation costs home.

Volunteers are expected to leave the household immediately after termination unless other arrangements have been made with the local leadership.

"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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