First in a series featuring congregations in WDC
Begun in 1875 by immigrants from the Molotschna Colony in Russia, Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church is located in a rural cross-section between Buhler, Inman and Moundridge, KS. “Hoffnungsau” means “View of Hope.” The congregation’s recently adopted vision statement is: Sharing Christ’s Hopeful View through Hope, Outreach, Fellowship and Faith with Christ as our firm foundation (I Cor. 3:11). The congregation is entering an experimental year with a new governing structure reflecting this vision: Hope is embodied in the deacons and worship committee. Faith is represented by the board of education’s work with faith formation. The trustees make sure the literal foundation is strong. But there was no council representation in the areas of outreach and fellowship, so these are being added, as Christ’s hope is given life through relationships within the body and with neighbors. An air of excitement and hope is sweeping through the congregation as cherished traditions and new creative ideas are woven together. For example, the congregation is passionate about its annual mission supper, and packing hundreds of Mennonite Central Committee school kits at the annual “Bag Factory”. They also dream of new ways to use their beautiful setting as a place of healing and hope. Last year, they hosted drive-in movie nights. Other ideas include a fire pit, community garden, grass labyrinth, and spiritual retreat center. “Will all these dreams become a reality?” asks pastor Lynn Schlosser? “Likely not. But as we prayerfully partner with God, we believe some of them will come to life and that’s exciting!” Lynn is also excited about an upcoming Sunday school teacher training facilitated by WDC staff and Resource Commission for Hoffnungsau and neighboring Buhler Mennonite Church. She appreciates WDC’s support, listening, sharing ideas and resources, and creatively working together with the congregation.
–Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister