After a ten-hour, three-movie bus ride from snowy Goshen to sunny Kansas City, we unpacked at the beautiful stone Rainbow Mennonite Church just before supper. And what a supper it was! Members of the Rainbow Mennonite Church congregation picked up barbecued pork, brisket and ribs from Quick’s Barbecue right down the street.
We met up with our host families and had the opportunity to hear stories about this active urban congregation, which runs a neighborhood park and playground and facilitates a Head Start program. Several guys got to spend the night at the Mennonite Voluntary Service house in the neighborhood and tap into what’s going on there.
The Sunday morning service started off with the strains of Rainbow Mennonite Church’s nineteenth-century organ, which they recovered, cleaned and shipped from an abandoned church building in New York. We had the opportunity to sing “Wonderful grace of Jesus” with organ accompaniment and a church filled with strong singers before we took the stage to give our first on-the-road tour performance.
The concert was very well-received. We sang “The Mennonite Game,” a humorous barbershop tune, with its composer, Andrew Shelly, in attendance. Afterward, we joined the congregation in a potluck that spread the length of their fellowship hall with tables of sauerkraut, meatballs, salads, curries, cakes, and over fifty very happy college guys. Thank you for your hospitality, Rainbow Mennonite Church!