Amish buggies line up outside of a farmstead where church services are held for the district.
The Amish of our area view themselves as an organized community where the teachings of Jesus are practiced. There are twenty-seven church districts in our settlement. They originated in the Anabaptist movement which were the Swiss Brethren. The Amish name comes from the founder of the Amish religion after they broke off from the Mennonite. The founders name was Jacob Amman and his views was that the Mennonite religion was embracing too many worldly goods and deviating from the teachings of the Bible.
The Amish stand for separation from the evils of material possessions and the conserving of many traditions. The Amish believe in adult baptism rather than infant baptism and the separation of church and state. Many Amish were tortured, deported, and put to death causing them to flee from European countries and travel to America.
The Amish are a very community minded people and believe in the authority of the Bible. They meet for church in their homes. Thirty to thirty five Amish families make up one church district. The Amish families rotate hosting the church services in their home with larger Amish families hosting in the winter months and smaller homes hosting during the summer months.
The Amish are not judgmental of us who practice other faiths and do not try to convert us to their way of life. Each Amish church district has a Bishop and Elders that oversee the policies of the church. Some districts support their own schools in addition to paying large portions of medical care for the members and any other emergency that may arise.
A horse drawn large enclosed wagon, white, gray, or green, is taken to the Amish farm where church is to held. On Wednesday the other Amish ladies of the church district come to help clean and prepare the home for church. The wagon contains hymnals, benches, and table service for the Amish church service. After the church service a meal is held for all of the Amish families in attendance. The men sit on benches on one side of the building and conduct church business and the women and children sit on the other side for general conversation.
A Amish church service can last from 2 to 3 hours and the rest of the day into the late afternoon is spent in fellowship. Sunday is considered a holy day and no farm work is done except the necessary chores such as tending to the animals. Sunday is considered strictly a day of rest and family for the Amish.
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