I think it’s important for members of a community to be socially involved, and I think that happens here. People care about the environment, and they care about people. I teach about conflict and violence, and I’ve been impressed with the number of people in the community who work really hard at helping people relate across differences.
I teach at the college, and I think that is probably the primary way that I am involved in the Goshen community. It took a while to get used to living in a smaller community, but now I am used to seeing students and former students around town, off of the campus. I really am proud of the way that so many grads have stayed and established business and various projects right here. And of course, we have many students that are from right here in Goshen.
Over the years I’ve been involved in Art House through several productions. My mom ran a small community theater back in Cleveland when I was a kid. It’s been fun to be able to participate when I can. I think that the arts scene here is very vibrant, and I love the way that people support the arts. I’m excited about the renovation at the Goshen Theater, and of course, I love that the community supports the Performing Arts Series at the college. And while the Performing Arts Series is great, it’s awesome to be able to experience students’ talents in a variety of ways.
I’m originally from Cleveland, and I grew up in a Mennonite-affiliated congregation there, and so there were a number of Goshen connections to my home congregation. Although I didn’t graduate from Goshen College, I attended for a year, and I’ve been teaching at the college for a number of years. My first job at GC was in Campus Ministries; I was one of the campus pastors for three years. After that, I left to work at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary for three years, then I came back to GC. My two youngest children are GC grads.
I love walking and running along the Millrace (mostly in warmer weather than we have now!). There are so many great places to eat – Kelly Jae’s is one of my favorites.
I really like our downtown. It has a lot of unique and fun little shops.
I really love the way the community rallied around supporting an independent bookstore. I think that says a lot about what people value: supporting small businesses, community gathering spots, and literacy.
Writing and editing by Scott Weisser and Neil King
Photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach
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