Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church has a new name. Now known as Fields of Hope Mennonite Church, the congregation once met in three neighbouring communities: Glenbush, Rabbit Lake and Mayfair, Sask., about 195 kilometres north of Saskatoon. Today, although the three churches still exist as legal entities, services are primarily held at the Glenbush church.
“The decision was precipitated by the fact that the German Mennonite community has shrunk, and the surrounding community is English-speaking,” says Pastor Celeste Wright. Surprisingly, she adds, there was no opposition to the change. She senses that the church has been quite flexible in the past. When, after mature deliberation, the congregation deems change to be necessary, it isn’t afraid to implement that change, she says.
Wright feels it is still too early to gauge the response of the larger community, but is hopeful that the new name will help bridge the gap between the congregation and its neighbours. “Since the church considers itself to be part of the community and wants to engage the community, it made sense to Anglicize the [church’s] poetic name,” she says.