Information provided by First Mennonite Church members
In September 2015, First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas, developed “Meet the Congregation”, using church display cases, as a way for people to share their life stories and to build relationships with a deeper knowledge of one another.
Persons supply photographs of their family and their interests, including memorabilia, and write a brief account of their lives. Every three weeks, different households are featured. A cross-section of church attendees is used, including old, young and newer households. When applicable, multiple generations of a family share their stories at the same time, which helps to make family connections.
The first to share were the pastors and church employees. Since then, over 80 households have related their life stories. It is stressed that persons share what has been important to them. Each presentation has been interesting and unique.
Most are willing to participate and find that they enjoy the time spent looking back and remembering events in their lives. It has been an interesting and well-received experience for the church.