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    Love, Community, and our walk of faith.

    baggywrinkle
    baggywrinkle

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2010-04-11

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Empty The heart of sustainability

    Post  baggywrinkle on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:07 am

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Old_order_mennonite_girls

    The centerpiece of the Church and the entire reason for the community is it's children. Everything else is secondary, for
    without them your community has no future. Look what happened to the Shakers!

    Our little church runs it's own school and has grown to fifty seven children in a congregation of twenty something families.
    The first thing that struck us when we began visiting was the vibrant health of the church body with a complete range of ages from
    young to old. We are attending a wedding this week end. As you might imagine, they have many of them.

    The retention rate of their children is over eighty percent. It might be argued that they are indoctrinated. But what society does not
    in some fashion indoctrinate their children. From my perspective as an outsider, these kids are happy, and they are loved. They are also
    innocent, polite, and responsible. Their parents are involved and it shows.

    When you form or join your community, look carefully at how the children are viewed. This society has been doing something right for several hundred
    years. I am sure that if they are left alone there will be Mennonite communities such as this one several hundred years into the future.
    baggywrinkle
    baggywrinkle

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2010-04-11

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Empty The Paradox of technology

    Post  baggywrinkle on Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:33 am

    There was a ministers meeting to discuss the impact of technology. This topic comes up as an ongoing theme.
    It divides congregations Why is it such a big deal?

    My Mennonite congregation drives cars (black or gray) and has cell phones, but they refuse computers. The distinctive feature of the Amish
    is the horse and buggy. Yet some some groups allow solar panels and electricity. You might find solar powered
    road lights on that buggy. Other conservative Mennonite groups allow computers but require net screening software. Look hard enough and
    you can find old order Mennonites who make the Amish look down right fancy.

    It has to do with being separate from the world. In the world but not of it. One must not be too worldly as they would put it.
    But the core issue is keeping families together. Cautious application of technology against the following litmus test; does it bring us
    closer together or does it drive us apart. Give a boy a chain saw and he might get a lot of work done. Give him a car and he will be
    anywhere but at home, at risk of being lost to his faith.

    If it brings us together

    Hold that thought and study at the photograph below. Suddenly the seeming paradox dissolves and the intent becomes crystal clear

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Boatdo

    When you realize why they do what they do it makes uncommonly good sense. At least it did for me. How many of you had dinner with your family
    with the television on? I rest my case.

    If it pleases you, take this back to your own community and tailor it for your needs.
    baggywrinkle
    baggywrinkle

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2010-04-11

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Empty Visitors from back east

    Post  baggywrinkle on Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:34 pm

    The newspapers are saying the plain people are moving west.

    It looks that way from where I stand. Their numbers never were large. A congregation might have two dozen
    families. My church has a sprinkling of congregations in western Canada, and two in Washington state.
    There is talk of my congregation swarming to make a third. As Grace said to my wife, "We don't get big, we
    split."

    We had visitors today. They were immediately identifiable by their clothing which was more conservative than
    ours. Not members of our church, but Mennonites none the less. The women wore dark blue cape dresses and
    prayer caps that covered their ears and were tied under their chins. The pastor traveling with them mentioned
    creeping liberalism as prayer caps got smaller and young ladies heels taller. (first the cap shrinks till it
    vanishes altogether. The next thing is they cut their hair and the hem lines creep up. It is a slippery slope
    towards Lady Ga Ga...) I found it amusing to be chided by a guest pastor. Clearly my urban Mennonite congregation is not as conservative as they first appear to the casual eye.

    The pastor and his wife were from Kentucky, the two young ladies were from another congregation in Western
    Tennessee. Both churches are independent congregations that fellowship together, and this tiny band was
    on it's way to visit a newly formed daughter congregation in western Canada.

    I thought it was very cool that these plain dressing folk from back east could beat on the door of a distant
    cousin congregation and expect to be put up for the night and fed. Is this reason enough to wear a symbol that identifies you with a particular group? That you could travel anywhere in the country and never set
    foot in a motel? What a network!

    Food for thought as you form your own sustainable communities. Think in terms of networks rather than just
    communities

    One caveat if you might flirt with the idea of trying it yourself. Be prepared to speak as a guest pastor
    before the congregation. There is more going on than just clothing...

    My wife and I have decided to never attempt to actually join this church due to some philosophical issues.
    We will be satisfied to remain visitors in fellowship with them. We can be "Friends" of the church (as in
    Religious Society of Friends or token Quakers)



    Carol
    Carol
    Admin
    Admin

    Posts : 25031
    Join date : 2010-04-07
    Location : Hawaii

    Love, Community, and our walk of faith. - Page 2 Empty Re: Love, Community, and our walk of faith.

    Post  Carol on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:39 pm

    Baggywrinkle, Thank you so much for the update and I loved the picture of the carriage pulling the boat. Made perfect sense to me as a boat makes it easier for some types of fishing. Big hug. cheers


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol

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