Do You Live Near An Amish or Mennonite Community?

United States
January 29, 2016 8:56pm CST
Both of these groups came to North America from Switzerland, I understand. In fact, the Swiss have been coming to North America for a long time. Some came to find political or business opportunities. Some came for adventure or to escape punishment for crimes committed. Most of them came for land and for religious freedom. The Mennonites, named after their leader, Menno Simmons settled in Pennsylvania in the late 17th century. Later they divided into different groups, including the Amish. They are “pacifists” meaning that they are against war. William Penn, a Quaker from Pennsylvania, offered them an opportunity to come to America and they gladly accepted. The Amish leader Joseph Schantz (1749-1813) and a Mennonite leader, Peter Lehmann (1776-1843) established and developed their religious communities and these communities still thrive today, not only in Pennsylvania but also in Virginia and several other states. Near where my brother lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, there is a Mennonite community. They operate the “Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft. I love to shop there for cheese, candy and delicious jams and jellies among other things. I always go to the “Cheese Shop” when I visit my brother. Mennonites have accepted some modern conveniences, such as driving cars and tractors, but the Amish have mostly resisted change. They maintain a way of life that is much like life on a typical farm in Switzerland. They drive horse-drawn carriages and use only mules and horses to farm their land. While Amish barns have electricity to refrigerate the milk storage tanks, they only use kerosene lanterns and wood-burning stoves for heat. Their homes are very simple and they dress in plain colors. Because buttons are on military uniforms, the Amish will not use them. They fasten their clothes with pins. These people are kind and humble people and if all lived as “pacifists” like they do, there would be no war. There is another religious group who also do not support war in any form. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Think of what a peaceful world this would be if all people refused to go to war. The Bible says that day will come in the near future. (Isaiah 2:4; Psalm 37:10, 11))
4 people like this
5 responses
• Japan
30 Jan 16
I grew up near a community of old style Mennonite and my parents taught their kids. The school where they taught was out in the country, so served the farming community. They said the Mennonite kids were almost without exception polite, respectful and hard-working.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 16
Yes, the Mennonites raise their children to be polite, respectful and they all seem to be hard-working people. I especially respect their efforts to be peaceful.
1 person likes this
• Japan
30 Jan 16
@IreneVincent My dad was a Quaker, also very much peace-loving.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (14979)
• Canada
30 Jan 16
What I find sad is that the Amish community is a tourist attraction.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4412)
• Oxford, England
30 Jan 16
How rude of people to come to gawp at others trying to go about their own business
• United States
30 Jan 16
I guess that some Amish communities are tourist attractions, but I don't consider the community near where my brother lives as such. The Cheese Shop is just another place to shop. The Mennonites there also have a Garden Shop and nursery for plants and seeds.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (90230)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Jan 16
I have read quite a bit about these people and read a few books about them. Certainly we could do with more pacifists among us.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 16
If only the world in general would copy their efforts to be peaceful. Romans 12:17,18 says "Return evil for evil to no one. Provide fine things in the sight of all men. If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men."
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4412)
• Oxford, England
30 Jan 16
How very interesting. have heard of both these communities and had no idea they were originally Swiss. Thanks for the post
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 16
In Pennsylvania, they are sometimes called "Dutch" and there are some connections to Holland. I did some research about them and their origins come from Switzerland for the most part.
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@Daljinder (19275)
• India
30 Jan 16
I have read (not al ot) but some things about them ...I find them intriguing.....I think there is a Caribbean communty too??