Monday, January 10, 2011

'Going to Church' exhibit opens in Library Gallery Jan. 23

Exhibit: "Going to Church: Objects Representing Mennonite Congregations"
Reception date and time: Sunday, Jan. 23, 6-8 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Library Gallery
Showing: Jan. 23 to April 29. Open during library hours.

GOSHEN, Ind. – Illustrating the widely varied traditions of church buildings and church-going in the history and worldwide spread of the Mennonite Church, the exhibit "Going to Church: Objects Representing Mennonite Congregations" will open in the Goshen College Library Gallery with a public reception on Sunday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be available until April 29 and is free and open to the public.


One cluster of early engravings depicts the architecture and interior design of the large Mennonite churches in Amsterdam in the 18th century. The interior scenes capture details of costumes and rituals associated with baptism and communion services in 1736.


These Dutch traditions were taken by Mennonites to Prussia, Ukraine and western Canada and the United States, as depicted by historic photographs. The exhibit includes communion chalices and wall mottos found in the ruins of Prussian churches following their destruction by bombing in World War II.


One local focus of the exhibit is on the architecture of the three Old Order Mennonite churches found in western Elkhart County – Yellow Creek, Blossers and Clearland. Along with the former Christophels and County Line buildings, they are represented by current photographs, scale models and interpretive paintings. These buildings best preserve the exterior architecture and interior layout of the earliest Swiss-derived Mennonite churches in Elkhart County.


A group of paintings by the late Sylvia Gross Bubalo of Goshen depict Mennonite church-going in eastern Pennsylvania and capture the emotion and spirit of worship in "plain" meeting houses there.


The exhibit includes friendship quilts made for pastors in Masontown, Pa., and Ashley, Mich., as well as a quilt made by Mennonite women in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which they sent to be auctioned at the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale.


Church signs, commemorative plates, Sunday school items, pulpit furniture, wall decorations, footwashing basins, towels and many other miscellaneous items round out the display.


The "Going to Church" exhibit, which is sponsored by the Mennonite-Amish Museum Committee at Goshen College, is curated by Faye Peterson and Ervin Beck. The exhibit is available during the library's hours, which can be accessed at www.goshen.edu/library.


A second public meeting associated with the exhibit is a presentation by Rich Preheim on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Newcomer Center Room 19 at Goshen College. Preheim, who is writing a history of the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, will speak on "'The Fellowship of Kindred Minds': Sunday Mornings in Indiana-Michigan Conference." Preheim is director of the Historical Committee of Mennonite Church USA. The lecture is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be open before and after the program.


The next exhibit sponsored by the committee, "Senegal Fabrics in Indiana Patchwork: The Quilts of Irene Bornman," will open May 8. Bornman is a Goshen resident who worked for a number of years in Senegal and made quilts for all of her grandchildren, using Senegalese fabrics. Rebecca Haarer of Shipshewana will be curator.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.




Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit www.goshen.edu.


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