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AMISH TIDBITS


Did  You  Know?

 

TERMS
The term English refers to nonAmish people.
WEDDINGS
November is wedding month in Lancaster County.
An Amish wedding service lasts approximately 3 1/2 hours.  After the ceremony, a huge feast is served for as many as 400 people.
CHURCH
Youth enter adulthood when they make a formal confession of their faith, receive baptism, and make a lifetime vow of obedience to the Ordnung.
A district is a group of families usually living close to one another and are members of the same fellowship.   Also called a church district.
The average Amish district has 30 families.
Church services are usually held every fortnight.
Ministers, Deacons, and Bishops are chosen by lot.  Candidates are selected by church members.  These candidates select a book.  If the book has a sheet of paper in it, that person is chosen and then ordained.
Services are held in members homes.  They take turns hosting the services.  Some sects do have meeting houses.
To achieve order, the Amish use the Ordnung.
Rumspringa - a time of running around before joining church
Meidung stands for shunning or excommunication.  This is based on Matthew 18:15-17; Romans 16:17; and 1 Corinthians 5:11.
Shunning was introduced n 1897 in Maple Glen Church in Somerset County, PA.  This eventually led to a division of the church which took place in June 1927.
ELDERLY
Care of the elderly is seen as a responsibility of the family and community.
Once a couple has raised their children and needs help with the farm, they will build a smaller house attached to the original home.  This house is sometimes called a dowdy house.  They will move into the dowdy or dody house and one of the children will move into the original home.    This child will take over the major part of the farming.  The older couple will still help out as much as possible.
DISABLED AND UNEMPLOYED
The Plain people have a zero percent unemployment rate for both disabled and nondisabled alike.  They take care of their own without government or state help.
FARMING
Amish farmers were asked by the U.S. Government to cut back on planting on their farms one year and complied. The U.S. Government came back in the fall, giving farmers money for cutting back their production. The Amish farmers would not accept the money.
The U.S. Government won billion of dollars in law suits from tobacco companies for deaths and sickness caused by using tobacco. An emergency farm bill passed in Washington in the middle of November 1999 giving tobacco farmers another $328 million because of failing cigarette prices. The dairy farmers got $125 million in subsidies while milk is at an all time high around $3.50 a gallon
Depending on the area, farmers either grow food or raise cattle.  Here is just a few of things they raise:
Alfalfa Wheat Oats Potatoes
Corn Tobacco Sorghum Pigs
Dairy Cows Chickens smcorn.gif (1800 bytes)
Usually the wife has a family garden using the harvest for daily meals and canning for the winter months.  If there is a surplus, they will sell it to the English.  The Amish grow or raise much of what they eat.  There usually is a large storage cellar in their home.
Amish Owned Business/NonAmish Business
They might use gas heat
Might use an air compressor to pump water into his store
They might use a car battery hooked up to their cash register
The Amish owned business may accept credit cards.  They will use the old style imprint machine.
They may hire an English company to build them a website, although they will not own a computer.
About half Pennsylvania's Amish either work for nonAmish business or operate their own small business
CRIME
The only know Amish-on-Amish slaying was in Pennsylvania in 1993.  The husband beat his wife to death and then gutted her deer style.  The husband had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia. 
MILITARY
The Amish asked for exemption for military service during the civil war. A civil war military exemption paper signed by Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of War cost the Amish family or church $300.00. A lot of money at that time.
INSURANCE
Buying commercial insurance to the Amish in not trusting in God. They do not buy it.
When they need to help a member who has a large hospital bill or a family that has lost a barn or house to fire, they will hold an auction or dinner to raise funds.
DEATH
The dead are laid out at home usually no longer than 24 to 48 hours.  Funeral services our held at the home before going to the cemetery.
The Amish usually do not bury their dead family members in the same plot.  The community usually buries their dead in order they died.  Amish believe one's physical remains are unimportant because all souls will be reunited in heaven.  Headstones are all uniformly sized.
TAXES
Amish pay the same taxes as English do including real estate taxes.  They do not collect social security, unemployment, or welfare.
HOMES
Central heating units are banned from most Amish homes.  Kerosene or coal and wood burning units are used.
Farm house lights may run on propane.
Electric appliances may run on battery or compressor power.
They may have an air compressor to pump water from the well.
The first floor rooms usually have a type of divider that can be opened when the family is hosting church for their district or is having a family wedding or funeral.
Their homes are usually sparsely furnished.
They often have a home or farm loan.
NAMES
Usually the Amish give the first initial of the father's name as a middle initial for their children's names.   This is done out of respect for the father.

The Mennonites use the first letter of the mothers last name when single.

SCHOOLS/EDUCATION
Please click here for a whole page of information.
AMISH VALUES
Plain living and simple deeds.
The mainstay is obedience to God's will.
When a tornado hit a rural area near Honeybrook in November 1999, numerous English homes were damaged and demolished.   Help can almost instantly in weathered pickup trucks and Amish buggies.  An Amish man cut fallen trees with a chain saw while his wife dispensed bread and juice from their buggy.
BIBLE REFERENCED FOR AMISH LIVING
Amish people interpret the Bible literally and directly in their lives.
Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?   And what communion hath light with darkness?
11 Corinthians 6:14
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not turn from it.        Proverbs 22:6
Amish women do not cut their hair and cover their heads while praying because of the following Bible passage:
But every women that prayeth or propesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head:   for that is even all one as if she were shaven.  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered......but if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her:  for her hair is given her for a covering....  1 Corinthians 11:2-16
Men wear beards in some Amish sects because Jesus had a beard.  When Jesus was crucified, they pulled on this whiskers.
For the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.  
1 Corinthians 3:19

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English Visitors since Dec 1999

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