Jean Kilheffer Hess
It’s a Wednesday evening at Garden Spot Village (GSV) and the chapel is filling quickly, the air vibrating with an anticipatory buzz. What “must see” brings 265 friends and neighbors to this annual May series, a partnership between GSV and LMHS?
The draw seems to be regular people talking about their regular lives, and these people just happen to be culturally-conservative Anabaptists presenting as part of the Amish Educational Series. The evening’s official presenters, Aaron and John, receive plenty of help from their spouses seated in the front row, Katie and Lydia, as they describe their Amish community’s baptism and marriage practices, take audience questions, and tell stories.
These stories, this exchange are some of the many ways we move towards our vision of “diverse communities connecting across boundaries by knowing and valuing their own and each others’ stories of life, faith, cultures, and histories.” That’s what Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society is about. Building bridges between the past and today, between people, between communities, with a core focus on the stories of Mennonites and others formed by Anabaptism.
You are helping us live more fully into this mission. Thank you to the more than 430 people, mostly members, who responded to a recent survey sharing valuable perspectives on how and what we do. One of the things we learned is that two-thirds read our newsletter, The Mirror, on a regular basis. If you are not a member and receive The Mirror through your church, we’d love to hear from you too. How do you experience it? What catches your eye or connects with you? What changes do you suggest—for the newsletter or for LMHS? Better yet, put your response in the form of a story! Somehow stories find a home within us and help us really understand.