On Monday morning of the Iowa Mennonite School Service and Learning term week, 11 students and 2 teachers gathered at IMS to develop our program of music entitled “Unique and United.” We had worked on a few pieces already, but there was a lot of work yet to be done. For all day Monday and part of Tuesday, we learned music, memorized lines, and played and ate together.
Tuesday afternoon we set out for Willow Springs Mennonite Church near Tiskilwa, IL, the location of our first program. The people were friendly, the church was acoustically lively, a combination which made for a wonderful evening. We spent the night with host families, and the next morning, toured Hungry World Farm.
Wednesday evening, we arrived at East Goshen Mennonite Church where we gave our next program. We again stayed with host families from the church, and the next morning were taken to Bethany Christian School, a sister Mennonite school to IMS. We spent most of the day there, giving our program in chapel, sitting in on a choir class and a Bible class.
On Thursday evening we traveled to nearby Elkhart where we gave our program at Faith Mission, a ministry which serves the homeless population in the area. Our audience was the most visibly responsive of any of our programs.
The rest of Thursday evening was spent at Goshen College where we visited with the Parables group. This group had visited IMS and gave a chapel and was the inspiration for our group. We shared a few of our songs and then had conversations with the members of their group about college life and being a part of Parables. We then spent the night in one of the dorms at the college.
Friday morning’s breakfast was spent with some IMS alumni and the Goshen College admissions staff. After a guided tour of the campus, we hit the road again. We passed through Chicago, saw a few sites and then arrived back at IMS that evening.
We had a full week of activities, traveling, singing, and interacting with new friends. It was a wonderful time of joining together all of us in our uniqueness and creating unity through our interactions together.