NORTH NEWTON, KAN. Historian John Sharp, Goshen, Ind., will speak on "Gatherers, Keepers and Evangelists: Stewards of the Corporate Memory" for the next Friends of the Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA) program at Bethel College in North Newton. The program is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21 in the Administration Building Chapel. He is a graduate of Hesston College, Goshen (Ind.) College and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. He served 15 years as a pastor in Kansas and Pennsylvania. Since 1995 he has been director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives.
Sharp delights in hearing and telling stories. He is passionate about connecting history and mission, heritage and vision. He considers himself a "pastoral historian."
Historians not only gather and preserve historical records, they also promote, tell stories and preach, he says. "As stewards of the church’s corporate memory, historians are to proclaim its core commitments when current social and theological currents tempt the church to discard those commitments and to exchange them for more trendy, popular expressions."
Admission to Sharp's lecture is free and open to the public. The chapel is handicapped accessible.