Mennonite Heritage Village

The Gift of Being Known

Village News (June 6, 2019)

By Gary Dyck


The Gift of Being Known

To really know someone is one of the most precious gifts in this world. It takes time. It takes setting aside our own self and entering into someone else’s story. As actress Emma Stone said, “If you knew everyone’s story you would love them. You can’t really hate someone if you know everything that happened to them between their birth and now; why they became the way they became; why they have walls up or down. If you truly know someone, you’d get it.”

Dr. Gordon Neufeld talks about the ‘six roots of attachment’. One of them is ‘sameness’. We relate most easily and naturally to those who are like us; who like what we like. You can see it when we meet a stranger and quickly try to find something we have in common. Whether it be a shared friend, a familial connection (cue the Mennonite game), or simply the weather we are both experiencing at that moment. As we develop and mature we can enter into deeper attachments including a more vulnerable attachment – love. The one just before that though is – significance. To be known and to be significant before another is very empowering and encouraging. That is what we foster as a museum. We take the precious lives, stories and objects of real people and make their significance known for everyone.

On June 13 you will have an opportunity to give that precious gift of significance to someone who needs it. Mennonite Heritage Village will be hosting a special evening with Eastman Immigration Services entitled “Journey to a New Homeland: Stories of Migration – Past and Present.” It might be the first time that we have Mennonites and recent immigrants from other parts of the world (Syria, India, Europe) in one room telling their stories together. The SRSS Photography and EAL class (for recent immigrant students) will also be presenting their new exhibit. “MOVING” includes photos and written examples of how we all move in life.

Come and offer the precious gift of helping someone be known. Outside of their families, immigrants are often misunderstood and feel alone. There will be free admission to our new Russländer exhibit (the 1920’s immigrants from Russian to Canada) and refreshments!

Newsflash! We are coming closer to our goal of $115,000 to replace the four flat roofs of our Village Centre. With the Russländer fundraiser banquet nearly $55,000 was generously raised toward this project!  It will be such a relief to get the roof repaired for the longevity and safety of the museum. Replacement of the roof over the gallery and collections will begin as soon as RACKA is ready. For the rest, only $35,000 more to go.

Calendar of Events

June 8, Tractor Trek – 8am to 8pm

June 13, Journey to a New Homeland: Stories of Migration – 7pm

June 14-16, Summer in the City – Main Street, Steinbach

July 1, Canada Day @ MHV