This week we opened a new exhibit in the Gerhard Ens Gallery. Jessica McKague, one of our Assistant Curators, commented on the content of this new exhibit.
“The Mennonite Heritage Village Museum presents a new exhibition celebrating the bicentennial of the EMC, opening this Thursday, June 21. Discover the life and times of the church from its emergence more than 200 years ago in New Russia (now Ukraine) to the present day, with never-before-seen artifacts, documents, furniture, and portraiture.
“In 1812 the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, then the Kleine Gemeinde or ‘small Church’ broke away from the Grosse Gemeinde (main Mennonite church). The renewal movement was led by Klaas Reimer, an elected Minister of the Mennonite Church. Among the many authentic Kleine Gemeinde artifacts on display in the Temporary Gallery are the ‘Klaas Reimer’ Bible and his own cane that he carved by hand.
“The Kleine Gemeinde has greatly shaped the history and development of the East Reserve. After their emigration from Russia, the members of the Kleine Gemeinde settled in Nebraska, Kansas, Mexico, and the largest number (sixty families) settled in Manitoba. Some settled in the West Reserve in Rosenort and Rosenhof, but most settled in the six towns of Blumenhof, Blumenort, Grünfeld, Kleefeld, Rosenfeld, and Steinbach. Eighteen of the founding families of Steinbach were a part of the Kleine Gemeinde.
“Now, as a result of focused missions activity, church movements have been established in Mexico, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Burkina Faso. Holistic ministry and foreign missions continue to be greatly valued by the EMC, and are likely to be an integral part of their expanding work in the future.”