Local Tours Add Flavor to PA 2015 Experience

To honour Pennsylvania’s Native people, one Assembly tour will visit the Native American longhouse on the grounds of the Hans Herr House and Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The MWC Executive Committee visited the longhouse during meetings in May 2013. Photo: Janet Plenert
Release date: 
Thursday, 21 August 2014

Harrisburg, PA, USA – Registrants for PA 2015 will be able to choose from 47 tours while attending the Mennonite World Conference Assembly, to be held July 21-26, 2015 in Harrisburg, PA.

Ten full-day tours will take place on Monday, July 20. Registrants may choose among visits to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and several Anabaptist communities in eastern PA. One of these is a full day in Lancaster County, where participants will meet with Old Order Amish and Mennonites, have dinner in an Amish home, and join in an evening singing with four Old Order groups.

Areas of focus for half-day tours offered during the Assembly include local historical sites of Mennonite-related groups, activities and locations of current-day Anabaptists, United States history, general interest, and general interest/family friendly.

Among the destinations of these 37 half-day tours are: active, non-farming Amish businesses; Native American village sites, as well as the Lancaster Longhouse of the eastern woodland Indians; Underground Railroad locations of 1800-1860, used to help enslaved African Americans; and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, designed to assimilate Native American children from 140 tribes into USA’s majority culture (1879-1918).

Other tours will visit: a currently used Old Order Mennonite meetinghouse, along with an active buggy and carriage shop; the Ephrata Cloister where the Martyrs Mirror was first published in German; and a greenhouse employing guest workers from Mexico, the Spanish-speaking Brethren in Christ congregation where many of them worship, and stories from the immigrant workers.

There will be: a PA Dutch Food Tour; walking tours of historic downtown Lancaster and the nearby town of Strasburg; a visit to three York County farms that are intentionally small scale and sustainable; kayaking on the Susquehanna River; and hiking the Appalachian Trail.

“The Farm Show Complex is situated in a beautiful, historic, and culturally rich area of southeastern Pennsylvania,” says Howard Good, National Coordinator of “PA 2015.” “We want registrants to be able to visit nearby landmarks and join in local activities while they’re here for the Assembly. We’ve lined up the hosts and the transportation so our guests can fully absorb the experience.”

Details about all tours are available on the registration form for PA 2015.

MWC release by Phyllis Pellman Good of Lancaster, PA, a writer and editor for Mennonite World Conference.

One tour option for Assembly participants will be a visit to the Material Resources Center, a Mennonite Central Committee project in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. The center is a collection point for items given by people who are responding to requests for materials from MCC partners in places of need. Photo: MCC

Geographic representation: 
North America