Have you ever wondered what a Sunday morning service in 1900
was actually like? What did people wear? How did the singing
sound and what types of songs were sung? How were services structured?
What was the tone and focus of a sermon in 1900? In short, what
was day-to-day and week-to-week congregational life like for
most Mennonites 100 years ago?
We would have better answers to these questions if someone
had saved more records. Today, with easy access to technology
and with an increased interest in the lives of ordinary people,
we can preserve records that will give future historians opportunities
to know what Mennonite congregational life was like in 2002.
Congregational Vignettes 2002 is a special project sponsored
by the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church. This project
will preserve a detailed record of a cross-section of Mennonite
congregations by systematically collecting historically relevant
material from up to thirty congregations during the year 2002.
Many congregations already collect material to be placed in
an archives, but this project will focus on collecting more material
and collecting it more deliberately. Most details of day-to-day
and week-to-week life of a congregation are currently not saved
and this project will do that by preserving a complete picture
of events as varied as Sunday morning worship, potluck dinners,
weddings, funerals, and church council meetings.
If you are interested in becoming part of
this project, contact John Sharp by phone (219-535-7477) or by
e-mail (email@example.com). Selected congregations will be given
instructions on how to begin the project.
Mennonite Historical Bulletin, April 2001