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"You are the salt of the earth..." Matt. 5:13
Swiss (Volhynian) Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association Newsletter, Spring 2002, Vol.1-1
|Welcome, Schweitzer Sojourners Kummen Sieto
the latest SMCHA -Swiss (Volhynian) Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association- venture, the "Schweitzer Salt." This bi-annual newsletter serves to connect with and to support people in being informed and involved in continuing and promoting the values and faith of our heritage.
SMCHA, incorporated Feb. 14, 1973, originated with the planning for the Swiss Volhynian Mennonite Centennial celebration of 1974. It works to preserve and foster our rich heritage for the inspiration of those who go forth from this place and of those who come back in search of their roots.
Where we come from and from whom we come are always intriguing because these factors tend to influence many aspects of our character. In the words of Eliza Cook, "There’s a magical tie to the land of our home, which the heart cannot break, though the footsteps may roam."
SMCHA’s intent is to distribute this newsletter to as many Schweitzers in the USA as possible. This means that we need your help in locating such. We ask that you return the Registration Form (p.3) with as much information as you can provide. If you wish to join SMCHA with a $10 contribution or if you wish to donate monetarily to this heritage cause, that is much appreciated. If not, we thank you for returning the form so that you and others you list on the form, may be in our Schweitzer Records and continue to receive the "Schweitzer Salt." -the editors
Kuk Mul tooh! Was ist das?
How does being a Schweitzer make a difference in response to the economic, military, political, international issues of the day? -Dr. James Juhnke
What does it mean to be Swiss? Different people have given different answers
to that question. Peter B. Amstutz, a Swiss Mennonite from Ohio, claimed that
Swiss folk are provincial in outlook. "One characteristic of a Swiss, different
from other people, is that he hardly ever goes farther afield than his cow pasture."
Unfortunately, in United States history the immigrants of one generation
often turn into the anti-immigrant nativists of the next generation. For Swiss
Volhynians, it should not be so.
But is it possible to translate traditional Mennonite teachings into clear positions on economic, military and political issues in a tolerant democratic and capitalistic society? The answer to that question is not altogether obvious. In the immigrant generation, some Schweitzers voted Democrat and others voted Republican. Many decades later, in the presidential election of 1964, some Schweitzers voted for Barry Goldwater because he stood for self-reliance and personal responsibility, while others voted for Lyndon Johnson who ran as a peace candidate.
Yet it was President Johnson who made the fateful decisions which led the country into its disastrous war in Vietnam.
Should that tradition lead the Schweitzers to identify with the Republican party or with the Democrat party? Should Schweitzers be on the left wing or the right wing--or the middle of the road--in American politics? No absolute answer to that question--or to the large general question assigned to me for this article--is possible. At least we can say that we must put our ultimate faith in God, rather than in any political or economic system of this world. We should not get stuck in our own cow pastures, but we need to be humble about the results of our worldly engagements.
--I feel like my values are especially being threatened right now with this war on terrorism. At what point would I move? That’s hard to say. As a Mennonite I feel a lot of guilt that pacifists are not speaking out in horror against U.S. policies which kill to let others know that killing is wrong. How preposterous! The big question for me is "where would I move?" Is there any place on this earth in 2002 that would allow me to live in true peace and harmony--a new land? -Leann Toews
--For me to seriously consider relocating to another country, a time of widespread repression of freedoms of speech, of assembly, of religious expression and/or freedom of movement would have to develop in this country. While today’s national administration along with our new Dept. of Homeland Security certainly give pause for concern about the loss of liberties, I think we are probably still a long way from the development of the kind of absolute restrictions imposed on those who dissent with popular opinion that would cause me to consider permanent relocation,. Visiting another country for a couple of years would be interesting at this point, however. -Roger Juhnke
--What an interesting and challenging question. What could be and/or should be causes to threaten my values that would result in relocating to a different country, should be addressed. The "could be causes" might be freedom of religious expression, economic security, health reasons, and environmental (air, water, vegetation pollution). All of which may be just, viable causes and should not be disapproved. However, the "should be causes" might be acts of faith through revelation from God in obedience to His leading in spite of the "could be causes". My cause would depend on my faith at the time of challenge. -Mel Flickinger
--If our freedom to worship as we choose would be taken from us I would seriously investigate moving to another country. Most likely our privilege of alternative service to participation in the military would also be lost. Losing these two privileges would make life very difficult and could result in living out my faith in secret or possibly being imprisoned for disobeying the law. -Alice Kaufman Suderman
--Our forefathers made supreme sacrifices to find a place where we are free to follow and serve Jesus. Jesus encouraged his followers to make disciples of all nations. If the United States hampered our missionary zeal and placed legal restrictions on our obedience to the teachings of Jesus, it may be time for us to seek some place in God’s world where we can be obedient to our Master Teacher Jesus. -Edwin R. Stucky
The Seven Plaques of the Memorial
WHAT IS YOUR Vision?
SMCHA OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS
SMCHA is again offering two scholarships in the amount of $500 each to students
who are preparing for the ministry or other full-time Christian service. Scholarships
are for the 2002-2003 school year. The application deadline is July 15, 2002.
Applicants must have membership in one of the six Swiss-Volhynian churches in
Kansas or in one of the two churches in South Dakota, or be of Swiss-Volhynian
KU Prof. Keel Speaks at SMCHA Fall Dinner
Around 150 people attended the SMCHA Fall Dinner in Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, Oct. 29, 2001. Prof. Keel from Kansas State University presented slides comparing German dialects in Kansas. A KU student is interested in pursuing further research.
The war on terrorism took a strange turn as airline officials refused to let a 73-year old "Schweitzer" board her plane. She had in her purse two six-inch knitting needles. Apparently they were worried that she may knit an Afghan.
Where is Great Uncle Christian?
The Hopefield Cemetery, located 4 miles west and 1/2 north of Moundridge, KS, contains the remains of many Swiss Mennonite pioneers and is therefore considered of particular importance to all Swiss Mennonite descendants. This cemetery is now the property of SMCHA. A directory building has been constructed to assist visitors in locating the tombstones of their ancestors. This work will be completed as soon as the Cemetery Directory Bulletin Board is installed. This directory building is an attractive and valuable feature of the Hopefield Cemetery. - Arnold M. Wedel
Like a floating feather
kind words bring peace
sweeping clean the hurt
of harsh spoken clatter.
Like notes on the scale
they wait to be touched
into a grand symphony.
-John O. Schrag
1) Newton, KS Preservation Week Celebration includes a program remembering the P. J. Wedel family. P. J. Wedel graduated from Kansas U. in 1895 and began his career at Bethel College in 1902.
For his contributions to anthropology, Waldo Wedel is listed in a 1999 Wichita Eagle as one of the hundred famous Kansans.
Time: Sun. May 19, 1:30 to 2:30 pm
Place: P.J. Wedel House, 2427 College Ave. N. Newton
2) First Mennonite Church of Moundridge will celebrate their 125th anniversary this year.
3) SMCHA Fall Dinner (Check web site for date.)
4) BC Fall Fest Schweitzer Prog. Oct. 12, 10:00 am
Sincere thanks to our contributors!
Das ist alles
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|Newsletter Editors: Donna Kaufman
Neufeld Box 142 N. Newton, KS 67117
ph: 316-283-3373 e mail- email@example.com
Neva Belle Adamson Stucky 405 NE 24 N. Newton, KS 67117
Consultant- Arnold Wedel Logo- Kristi Neufeld
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