OUR CONGREGATION gathered for worship on a beautiful September Sunday morning at the Conley farm in western Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This was the fourth of a series of weekend meetings we call “love feast"—the high point of our church year. An intense spiritual experience, the series culminates on Saturday evening as the plainly dressed, bearded brothers and the sisters in their capes, aprons, and snow white head coverings wash one another’s feet. Then, positioned around long wooden tables, they exchange the kiss of peace and pass...Read More
items tagged with mennonites
Brave Anabaptist leader tells how he came to lead a small but growing group of devout Christians.
- Issue 120: Calvin, Councils, and Confessions
- Issue 84: Pilgrims & Exiles: Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren
- Issue 5: Radical Reformation: The Anabaptists
IT IS OCTOBER 1683. In a temporary cave-dwelling on the high banks of the Delaware, a German Mennonite family and several German Quaker families cast lots for parcels of land. The settlement they are founding—Germantown—will play a crucial role in the early history of the American Anabaptists.
The Germans’ “other holy experiment”
A wave of German immigrants began landing at the port city of Philadelphia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. William Penn, the colony’s Quaker proprietor, did not intend to establish a Quaker commonwealth...Read More
Trail of blood
The Martyrs Mirror (1660), an Anabaptist martyrology, has as its full title The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Saviour, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660 .
A-Fording them a higher profile
By the 1980s, annual visitors to Lancaster County’s “Amish country” numbered above 4 million. The 1985 Harrison Ford film Witness increased the flood even further (though not doubling it as...Read More
TOURISTS in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania tend to assume that they are at the center of the Anabaptist world (not true—more Amish live in Ohio today than in Pennsylvania) and that the Amish are the largest and most significant group of Anabaptists (also not true—Mennonites and Brethren are actually more numerous than the Amish). As a service to the uninitiated, here are some key distinctives of these groups.
Conceived in a dispute between Swiss Anabaptist leaders in the 1690s, Jakob Ammann’s following is in many ways the most...
IT IS MANIFEST, dear reader, that the humble office of a true bishop, preacher, and pastor is an office of Christian service. If rightly served it is full of labor, poverty, trouble, care, reproach, misery, sorrow, cross, and pain. But it has been changed by your preachers into sinful splendor and princely glory so that they are greatly feared and honored by those whose names are not written in heaven. They parade in splendid robes dressed in shining sham, and are called proud names. There is not a word to be found in Scripture concerning...Read More
IMAGINE YOURSELF in the imposing Grossmünster church in Zurich. This is a sanctuary in transition: the votive candles have been snuffed out, the frescoes painted over, and the wooden statues depicting saints and biblical figures removed. The expansive space echoes with the high-pitched voice of Huldrych Zwingli. In the language of the marketplace, he preaches directly from the text of the New Testament, moving verse by verse through each book, ignoring the centuries-old liturgical order of readings. He insists on the need for a biblical...Read More