Community News



NOEL! A Choral Celebration

Our choral Christmas card to you: The First Noel and The Shepherds’ Carol by Dan Forrest, Spotless Rose by Ola Gjeilo, The Bethlehem Starby Bob Chilcott, Glow by Eric Whitacre, O Nata Lux by Guy Forbes, O Sanctissima Mariaby Paul Mealor, as well as works by J.S. Bach, John Rutter, Alice Parker and Robert Shaw, and Traditional.

Please join us at one of our Christmas venues!

Mennonite Immigration exhibit opens at the Mennonite Heritage Center

The Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, announces a new exhibit: Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania that will be on display from April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018.

The exhibit commemorates the three hundredth anniversary of Palatine Germans arriving at the port of Philadelphia. The three ships carrying the Palatines included numerous Mennonite families and was the first large group of Mennonites to immigrate to Pennsylvania.

Opportunity & Conscience highlights the experience of 18th century Mennonite immigrants, their motivations and process of migration, and how they settled in eastern Pennsylvania. Between 1683 and 1775, at least 3,000 Mennonites arrived in Pennsylvania. They were part of a much larger story of European mass migrations to the mid-Atlantic colonies. The main causes for this migration were:

  • Continual religious war in the 17th century
  • Religious and economic oppression and restrictions
  • Burdensome taxation
  • Severe weather events and crop failures
  • The promise of religious toleration, land ownership and economic opportunity.

The exhibit includes a fascinating simulation of a passenger compartment on an 18th century immigrant ship, and a depiction of a sitting room in an early immigrant home, furnished with original artifacts of the 18th century. Enlargements of scenes and images from the period further illustrate the theme.

Another feature of the exhibit is a collection of stories of recent immigrants to the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys, some of whom have connected with local Mennonite churches. Many similarities can be observed between the motivation and experience of today’s immigrants and those of the 18th century from whom many Americans are descended.

Throughout the year, our blog at will feature stories and artifacts related to families descended from 18th century Mennonite immigrants. In addition, programs are planned on themes of immigration. To schedule guided group tours and for information about the exhibit, visit