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.