What the Amish can teach us about surviving apocalyptic times

May 11, 2020 by and

I took a walk the other day, because getting some respite from the narrow confines of my little suburban home is a blessing these days. About half a mile from our house, there’s a ubiquitous slice of strip...

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That Which Is

Apr 6, 2020 by

“God Controls the Weather,” about Amish skepticism of human-caused climate change, brought back memories of words in a booklet given to me by a hitchhiker I picked up. The title was Love Letters from the...

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Sunday morning, March 22, 2020

Apr 6, 2020 by and

7:20 a.m. — I drove from Lancaster City, Pa., where I live, on 222 North toward Reading. My assignment: photograph the 8 a.m. service at Weaverland Anabaptist Community Church to get an example of worship in...

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Amish have complicated relationship with nature, climate change

Mar 16, 2020 by and

Drive through the farmlands of Lancaster County, Pa., or Holmes County, Ohio, avoiding the frequent horse-drawn buggies, and you may get the impression that the Amish practice a wholesome, back-to-nature...

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Being raised Amish-Mennonite, and what it taught me

Mar 4, 2020 by

The Amish-Mennonite way of life is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Amish and Mennonite denominations have huge variations among their congregations. Even geographical area can make a...

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Book supports Plain abuse awareness

Feb 17, 2020 by

Jeanette Harder had not even received a printed copy of her new book when she learned 740 fresh-off-the-press copies had been handed out at a conference. Harder, co-founder of Dove’s Nest, authored For the...

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Book review: Nature and the Environment in Amish Life

Sep 2, 2019 by

Even before climate change emerged as an existential threat, the Amish were lauded for their environmentally friendly, off-the-grid lifestyle. Horse-drawn transportation, huge vegetable gardens, emphasis on...

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Kriss: What does it mean to be Anabaptist?

Jun 10, 2019 by

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society’s recent research expanded the pool of groups included under the Anabaptist umbrella. The Community of Christ has moved toward declaring itself a peace church....

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Miller: The old farmhouse

Jun 10, 2019 by

When I heard my Amish grandparents’ farmhouse was being razed because of black mold, and a new house would be built, I knew change was coming to a place that seemed timeless. I spent summer vacation there,...

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Broad census counts more Anabaptists

May 27, 2019 by

The most inclusive census of Anabaptists in the United States counts 100,000 more members than the 2018 Mennonite World Conference tally. The survey, by the Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite Historical Society, counts...

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600,000 divided by 67

May 27, 2019 by

Does your church have a reason to be? There’s a reason it began, but does it have a purpose today? If your great-grandparents needed a shorter drive for the horse and buggy, that doesn’t count any...

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Amish pose challenges for providers of health care

May 13, 2019 by and

Amish and conservative Mennonite communities might get identified as “Plain,” but health-care providers have found offering services to them can be anything but simple. A patient might pay with cash rather...

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History: From Mennonite to Missionary

Apr 15, 2019 by

North American Mennonite history is peppered with schisms prompted by disagreements over issues such as prayer meetings, revival meetings, conversion experiences and Sunday schools. Seven groups that split...

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Do you belong to an ethnicity or a church?

Feb 11, 2019 by

The accusation was stripped of niceties. “The only way your churches can stay afloat is by having large families. Few people are joining you from other backgrounds.” The Amish and Mennonites, this unnamed...

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MWC census: Anabaptist world membership up slightly

Nov 26, 2018 by and

Membership in Anabaptist churches worldwide grew 0.7 percent since 2015, according to Mennonite World Conference’s triennial census released Nov. 20. By MWC’s count, the Ana­baptist-Men­non­ite faith...

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What Amish have to teach us

Oct 31, 2018 by

I live in Lancaster County, Pa., home to one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in the world. My work brings me into regular contact with the Amish. I have come to believe that one of today’s notable...

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Ex-members of ultra-traditional groups share stories

Oct 8, 2018 by and

LANCASTER, Pa. — Leaving a highly traditional religious community can exact a high price, but for many participants in a recent conference, the costs of remaining were even higher. Although most of the...

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Political group seeks Amish vote

Oct 1, 2018 by and

A political action committee working in Lancaster, Pa., believes more can be done to mobilize Amish people to vote for Republican candidates this fall, though the traditionally nonvoting group continues to be...

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Amish not ignorant

Sep 24, 2018 by

According to the Amish Heritage Foundation, the 1972 Supreme Court decision Wisconsin v. Yoder, which allowed the Amish to end schooling after eighth grade, brought enforced ignorance and a feeling of...

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Book review: ‘A Midwife in Amish Country’

Sep 17, 2018 by

In her excellent 2013 study of the Amish romance, Thrill of the Chaste, Valerie Weaver-Zercher decisively argues that books about the Amish are predominantly written for an evangelical Christian audience. The...

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Dark side to Amish religious freedom?

Aug 13, 2018 by and

Though the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wisconsin v. Yoder decision has traditionally been hailed as a religious freedom victory for the Amish, some Amish people want to challenge the 1972 ruling. That’s one thing...

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To beat addiction, path to freedom is spiritual

Jul 16, 2018 by and

For Paul Fehr, addiction to drugs began with rejection, but an encounter with Christ helped him overcome that bondage. Now he’s the executive director of Operation 6:12, a Christian residential program in...

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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, not the Amish romance

May 22, 2018 by

About every two to three months, I get messages from a young woman or two wanting to become Mennonite or Amish. They’ve done no research and are looking for dress patterns or, as they call it, “Kapp”...

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The ‘Anabaptist Option’?

Jan 29, 2018 by

A recent must-read book for Christians concerned about the decline of traditional values is The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Author Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The...

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Book review: ‘When the English Fall’

Nov 6, 2017 by

Iwill not soon forget an image David Williams creates in the opening chapters of his excellent novel, When the English Fall. The image is searing in its horror and in what it portends. Some kind of solar storm...

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