2018 Educational Meetings

Upcoming Events

Piecing Together Traditions: African American and Amish Mennonite Quilting Fest

November 3, 10:30 am to 3 pm

Learn more about African American, Amish, and Mennonite quilting traditions with a quilting fest from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday, November 3. The day will include presentations from Kyra Hicks and Janneken Smucker, opportunities for individuals to share the story of one of their quilts, and time to fellowship over soup and a dessert potluck. There will be shared quilting time on pieces to be auctioned at Mennonite Central Committee relief sales.

Piecing Together Traditions will be held at the MCC Material Resources Center, 516 West Trout Run Road, Ephrata, Pa. Registration costs $15, due October 3. Register by calling the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society at (717) 393-9745 or online at lmhs.org

Kyra E. Hicks is a self-taught, skilled crafter who uses cotton to explore political, religious, family and romantic themes. Her work has been shown in such prestigious venues as the American Craft Museum in New York, the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Her work appears in the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City, and in the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. She is the author of “Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook,” “This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces,” the children’s book “Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria,” and other publications.

Janneken Smucker, a fifth-generation Mennonite quiltmaker, is Assistant Professor of History at West Chester University where she specializes in digital and public history and American material culture. The author of “Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon,” she lectures and writes widely on the topic of quilts for both popular and academic audiences. She is board president of the nonprofit, Quilt Alliance, working closely with its oral history project, titled Quilters Save Our Stories.

MCC Material Resources Center, 517 West Trout Run Road, Ephrata, PA 17522

Registration due October 3, $15

Past Events

Beyond the Underground Railroad: Reclaiming African American Heritage Sites

March 19, 6:30 pm

“Beyond the Underground Railroad: Reclaiming African American Heritage” is a virtual tour of places and sites like the Stevens/Smith site in Lancaster City, the Mifflin House, and Columbia Crossings as well as various lesser known homes that were part of the Underground Railroad. This event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19, at Landisville Mennonite Church, 3320 Bowman Road, Landisville, Pennsylvania.

Randolph J. Harris will share stories and talk about all the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to reclaim these sites for historic purposes. Through his extensive education, research, and more than twenty-five years of work experience in many different capacities, including past executive director of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, he is uniquely qualified to speak on the preservation and promotion of these sites.

His recent projects focus on African American heritage sites in the communities of south central Pennsylvania and the development of heritage tours. Harris is also the archivist of the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania.

An interesting insight that he will be sharing with the attendees of this virtual tour is the important role that local government representatives should take as stewards of the heritage of their communities, including both the buildings and the natural environment of the area. Attendance is free, but there will be an offering taken to cover expenses.

Landisville Mennonite Church, free

Commemorate 500 Years of Luther’s “Theology of the Cross”

April 6, 7 pm

In April 1518, Martin Luther articulated this keystone of his theology at the Heidelberg Disputation. Explore its bearing on Anabaptist thought with scholars Hans Leaman, Anne Thayer, Vince Evener, and local Lutheran pastors Adam Koontz and Matt Lenahan.

Stumptown Mennonite Church, free

What Young Historians Are Thinking

June 2, 1:30 pm

History does not have to be the domain of the old. Hear three young historians engaged in cutting-edge research present their findings beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, at Elizabethtown College as part of Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society’s What Young Historians are Thinking symposium. The presentations will vary in scope from race relations within Mennonite Central Committee to the experience of Mennonite soldiers in the twentieth century.

What Young Historians are Thinking will be held in Hoover 110 at Elizabethtown College, 1 Alpha Dr, Elizabethtown, Pa. A reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Paula Holtzinger, a 2018 Messiah college graduate, will present “Tracing the Trajectory of Racial Engagement within Mennonite Central Committee, 1985-2005.” She examines Mennonite Central Committee’s approach to engaging race and how the organization’s racial consciousness has transformed in response to an increasingly diverse constituency. Her essay asserts that Mennonite Central Committee’s posture has changed from initial avoidance and resistance towards active anti-racism efforts.

Jenae Longenecker, a 2018 graduate of Goshen College, will share “Objection Overruled? Reformulating the Mennonite Witness Regarding Law.” At the start of the twentieth century, many North American Mennonite conferences were committed to separatism and sanctioned members who “went to law.” By the 1990s, Mennonites entered into legal professions at a rate comparable to that of the general population. Longenecker argues that as Mennonites engaged the field of law throughout the twentieth century, they did so in creative, intentional ways that have served the church well as a creative reformulation of a distinctly Anabaptist Mennonite witness.

Kyle Stocksdale, also a 2018 Goshen College graduate, will explore the stories of six men raised in the Mennonite Church in northern Indiana/southern Michigan who were drafted, served in the military, and returned home to their religious communities in “Anabaptists in the Military: Stories of Conscripted Men from Indiana-Michigan Conference.” These stories of personal, community, and institutional conflict reveal a historical pattern of disconnect between official church positions and lived experience.

What Young Historians are Thinking is a collaboration of Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, and the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies at Messiah College.

Hoover 110, Elizabethtown College, free

Hidden in Plain Sight: African Americans in Lancaster

October 15, 6:30 pm

Dr. Leroy Hopkins will share stories about African Americans, their role and involvement in Lancaster from its founding through challenges faced in the civil rights movement.

James Street Mennonite Church, free