Jean Kilheffer Hess

Several years ago a friend and I started a book club focused on professional development. When my turn came to pick the book, I chose the Steven Covey classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. You’ve likely encountered phrases this book popularized, such as putting first things first and seeking a “win-win” situation.

Covey’s suggestion that each person develop his or her own mission statement impacted me most. It’s easy to read this kind of advice, think “that could be helpful,” and move on with life apace. For whatever reason, I hit the pause button and gave it a try.

After careful thinking, and assuming vibrant faith and healthy relationships to be implicitly foundational, I settled on this personal mission: to help build a world where everybody thrives. It’s a simple statement. It’s a broad imperative. And yet somehow it manages to guide my approach to life in useful ways as diverse as how I choose to consume and why I volunteer to facilitate a group conversation.

As Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (LMHS) embarks on strategic planning, our mission remains front and center. We preserve and interpret the culture and context of Mennonite-related faith communities connected with Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

On January 1, 2018, Mennonite Information Center—which had been sponsored by Eastern Mennonite Missions—became part of LMHS. Along with the 1719 Herr House, Native American Longhouse, and Historical Society library, archives, and museum, we now have three service centers. Approximately 25 staff members, many of whom work part-time, wonderful volunteers who together give thousands of hours annually, and the financial support of members and donors buoys this important work. A clear, shared strategy is key to growing as a highly effective organization.

Part of that strategy involves being transparent about our needs and inviting your generous giving. 

What is your mission, your calling? How might partnering with Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society help you meet that mission? Together we create a win-win!