How would you describe the essence of this community?
There is a very big difference between the Elkhart and the Goshen community even though it is the same county. Maybe it is the denominational influence or perhaps it is the size, but Goshen feels more family oriented, friendly and accepting. The Goshen community does not feel like a place where people are competing for distinction or honor, but people will readily help each other. My cousin grew up in Elkhart but moved to Goshen after high school and marriage and has lived in Goshen her whole adult life. She often talks about how everyone at the post office, grocery, drug store, library are so friendly, helpful and genuine.
What would you consider this community’s greatest asset?
The Amish, Mennonite and Brethren traditions have had a significant influence and impact on this community. The pace is a little slower. Issues of faith seem somewhat more important. There certainly is a desire for less governmental intrusion in daily life and a desire for peace. It is the latter that resonates with me. The quest for peace ... individual and corporate peace as well as world peace is a topic of conversation in this community. Maybe I should say that in this community the whole concept of “community” is an asset. Coming out of a religious community whose roots are in Germany I have come to appreciate what community means to many who live in Goshen and the surrounding area.
What do you think is the community’s most significant accomplishment over the past 20 years?
I am not sure that I can speak to this question since I haven’t lived back in this area very long. What I have noticed is the growth and influence of Goshen College and well as Greencroft’s expansion to meet the needs of our seniors. The community has welcomed a large and growing Hispanic population and have attempted to assist in their feeling welcome. The community has also begun to address issues of the uninsured, homeless, and hungry.