‘Heavenly Voices’ portrays stories of Mennonite women of color


Performance: Heavenly Voices
Date and time: Saturday, Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m.
Location: Waterford Mennonite Church
Cost: Free admission, donations accepted

A multicultural cast of female students, alums and faculty from Goshen College will present the play Heavenly Voices on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Waterford Mennonite Church in Goshen.

Heavenly Voices features the stories of Mennonite women of color around the United States, including stories of courage and faith and God’s presence and grace in good times and in bad. Included in the play are the stories of Seffie de Leon, soloist and song leader in the Mennonite Church, Barbara Moses, principal of Philadelphia Mennonite High School, and Bertha Little Coyote, a Cheyenne singer from Oklahoma.

The stories featured in Heavenly Voices were gathered by Pat Lehman, professor of communication at Goshen College, and Linda Christophel as part of the Mennonite Women of Color Oral History Project. Both members of intercultural, interracial families, Lehman and Christophel wanted to find out how these women faced racism and discrimination, but they discovered much more. Over and over again women shared with them stories of God’s faithfulness in difficult times.

The ethnodrama uses the direct words of these women to tell their stories. Heavenly Voices was written by Lehman and first performed in 2010 in Goshen, Indiana, and in Chicago, Illinois. In 2013 it was presented at the Mennonite Church convention in Phoenix. Most recently it was performed in September 2014 at Hesston College in Kansas for their homecoming weekend and at Sarasota Christian School in Sarasota, Florida, on October 11.

Admission to Heavenly Voices is free. Donations will be accepted.