Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1987


In his essay describing "Mennonites, Free Methodists, and Liberal Education," (Faculty Dialogue, Fall-Winter 1986-87, No. 7, pp. 83-94), John K. Sheriff acknowledges that his purpose will be to draw a "caricature, the way each (group) appears to persons outside the group." He also observes that while his knowledge of Free Methodists is rather extensive and varied, his reference group for the Mennonites is primarily one Mennonite college and one local congregation. Nonetheless, he consistently refers to each group as if he were speaking for the whole.

My experience is something of the reverse of Professor Sheriff's: whereas I am deeply rooted in the Mennonite community, my experience of Free Methodism is limited to one five-year stretch of active participation in a wonderfully alive Free Methodist congregation in a university town.


Originally published in:

Faculty Dialogue, No. 9, Fall 1987