Community is a buzz word these days. But in spite of all the discourse, it’s rare to find groups of people who live in fellowship with each other for a lifetime, let alone multiple generations.
“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.” ― Jean Vanier
At the very core of the Amish people is their sense of communal values. Sociologist Donald Kraybill says; “All of their daily practices are shaped and formed by their religious beliefs. Very few of us will ever become Amish, but I think we can learn some things from them regardless of our religious background. And I think some of the most important things are a sense of community, a sense of family, and the sense in which our daily practice shapes our religious outlook.”
The Amish and Mennonite people don’t simply talk when it comes to helping and supporting their brothers & sisters within their community. They’re entirely committed to being there for each other when challenging times arise, or when disaster strikes. They have a profound respect for others, and demonstrate what it looks like to live by the Golden Rule. One of the Amish customs I most admire is the way they care for their aging family members.
“Where there is not community, trust, respect and ethical behavior are difficult for the young to learn and for the old to maintain.” ― Robert Greenleaf
A most dynamic display of this strength in the Amish community is the barn raising. In case you haven’t yet seen it, here’s a video so you can understand how extraordinary it truly is!
Another way the Amish-Mennonites foster the sense of community is through their quilting. LancasterPA.com says “Amish women of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country have been creating exquisite Amish quilts since the mid-1800′s (and some believe even earlier). Amish quilts are an expression of frugality. They not only serve a practical, functional purpose, but serve as a form of entertainment as well. Many times groups of Amish and Mennonite women gather for a quilting bee. The bee is a form of socialization and relaxation for these women. It’s a time when they can get together to visit and “catch up” with one another.
Although it’s not an AMISH quilt making video, I believe the link provided below expresses the gracious story of how Amish and Mennonite women join hands to share love and beauty in tangible ways, while cultivating the culture of community.
Thank you for joining me on this #write31days project, as I share lessons I’ve learned from my Amish family! You can read more of my posts on the Amish way of life by clicking here.
~ Justina Dee
Read more about Amish quilts at LancasterPA.com