Bound together by Friendship.

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends;  for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you”   “Friend “is a beautiful word that may describe a near-intimate relationship.

The past week  friends became visible through the mists of memory.  A friend who lives in Sarasota bought  tickets for Joyce and me to see the Eugene Aleander Couture Runway Show in the Goshen Theater during  Elkhart County’s Fashion World.  My friend and I have a mutual friend whose work would be on display in a run way show in the Goshen theater.  

Joyce could not walk as far as the theater and it was beyond the limits of my scooter so we were uncertain how we would get  there.  At last we learned of neighbors/friends who planned to go and would take us.

Entering the Goshen Theater felt like crossing the boundary separating church and world.  Our request for admission was accepted and we were shuttled into a side room usually reserved for couples wanting to dance.  Being  offered a choice of beverage, part of me wondered if I was where I should be. Then I recalled that we being aided and abetted by friends whose walk with Jesus I knew well.

The show featured designs by my friend, Eugene Stutzman. He had been reared in an Amish home and in the Amish culture of Holmes County, Ohio. Now he is a retiree and was being honored during this homecoming celebration by Goshen College as an accomplished alumna. Mekayla Eppers, Mrs. America, from neighboring Bristol, Indiana, was the emcee of the runway show.

It is not possible for me to describe in words the beauty and the spirit of the show. Click here to go to the Face Book display of fashions worn on the runway and be introduced to significant persons in its planning.

Under water coral is a symbol of Life in Covenant Mennonite Fellowship

After the show I pushed my way to the front of the stage to greet Eugene who exclaimed in my ear that he was honored by my presence.  On the way to the theater’s exit I was hugged by more friends from the past.  They remembered me for my early advocacy for believing gays and lesbians and for my encouragement for the founding of Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Sarasota.  Get access to that church’s history by clicking here.  Covenant Mennonite Fellowship is the only fellowship/church in Sarasota that retains “Mennonite” in its name.



About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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5 Responses to Bound together by Friendship.

  1. Jep Hostetler says:

    What fun! You live a juicy life, indeed. I hope when I am in my 90’s I am as willing as you to try new things, see new things, do new things. You are a blessing to our community.

  2. JB Miller says:

    Martin: Thanks for your great review of the evening, it was indeed a festive and special event. One point of clarification. There are a number of congregations in Sarasota who still have Mennonite in their name. I think it’s accurate to say that Covenant is the only MC USA congregation that retains the word “Mennonite”.

  3. Thanks for the affirmation and I welcome the correction. I hope to deal with it in my next blog.

  4. Wow! what wonderful gift you gave me in being able to listen this morning to Tim L. sermon on Oct 1!!! I heard from some in our San H. group on tues. a.m. and was wanting to hear and be blessed by Tim’s message and I WAS Greatly blessed. I have know Tim and Carolyn for a long time and have had great respect for his integraty and insights. Bless you Martin for sharing this!!! David Helmuth

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