Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 14, 2017 Yoder reunion heads to Shipshewana
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

The 2017 National Yoder comes to Shipshewana, Indiana from Sept. 20-23. It will commemorate the 300th year since the arrival of the first Anabaptist Yoder (a Mennonite) in America on Aug. 17, 1717, and focus on the Anabaptist heritage of major branches of the Yoder family. Family members from 26 states, Canada, and Switzerland are registered to attend and the City Council has formally declared the dates as “Yoder Reunion Days” in Shipshewana.

Activities will primarily be at the Event Center, 760 S. Van Buren St., and the adjacent Blue Gate Garden Inn. While pre-registration is encouraged, late registration will be possible over the four day event, however it is expected that additional seating at the meal events will be very limited by that time. Those wanting to attend one of the meals should let organizers know a week before hand (call to get your name on the attendance list if possible).

The reunion kicks off 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Sept. 20, with a Welcoming Reception and Ice Cream Social at the Blue Gate Garden Inn, immediately following the first on-site registration period. Thursday, Sept. 21, is primarily an open period with opportunities to tour the Menno-hof, area shops, and visit the Historical Society, topped off by Amish Home Dinners with musical entertainment followed by question and answers about Amish life. The date falls on the 275th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Amish Yoders on Sept. 21, 1742 in Philadelphia harbor on the ship “Francis and Elizabeth”.

On Friday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m., presentations will begin at the Event Center with Joe A. Springer of Goshen College giving an overview of Anabaptist History and a second one on his studies of the Alsatian Yoder communities and their American immigrants during the 19th century. He will be followed by Amish Historian Floyd Miller from the Northern Indiana Amish Library telling the story of the Amish coming to northern Indiana.

On Saturday Sept. 23 at 1 p.m., again at the Event Center, the Yoder ancestral hometown of Steffisburg, Switzerland will be featured when Steffisburg native Andreas Joder, tells of “The Steffisburg-Joder Connection”. Almost all American Yoder lines left Steffisburg in the 1690s. Mr. Joder, who lived in Lafayette, Indiana from 1982-1985, will show scenes and history of Steffisburg, and include a special recorded greeting from the current town Mayor. He will be followed by Yoder Newsletter editor Chris Yoder, giving an overview of the different American Yoder lines and then a review of the results of the Yoder DNA Study sponsored by the newsletter.

A 7 p.m. Saturday banquet, will conclude the reunion activities with an evening of musical entertainment, featuring Schmidt’s First Love Singers, The Emma Men’s Choir, and the Yellow Creek Men’s Quartet.

Registration information can be obtained from Chris Yoder, email cyoder@tds.net or phone 616-212-3443. Registration fliers may still be available at Yoder’s Hardware, the registration desk at the Blue Gate Garden Inn, or at E&S Sales in Shipshewana.

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