My Mennonite Experience

87506664My family and I took something of a mini-vacation in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania–Amish country (as we like to say.  My wife reads a lot of Beverly Lewis Amish novels).

To be honest, I was dragged along.  My wife, who is fascinated by the Amish, got her way.  Everyone was happy.

We would be there from midweek through the following Monday, which includes a Sunday, and therefore finding a place of worship.

Saturday came along.

I googled Mennonite churches in the area.  In the process, I learned a good deal about the Mennonites.  I knew they were Anabaptists, tracing their beginnings to the 16th century radical reformation.  But I didn’t know there would be conservatives, moderates, and even theological liberals (by their standards) Mennonites.  I honestly thought they were monolithic in their beliefs (naiveté on my part, I guess).

Sunday came.

This particular Mennonite church, less than a mile from the Amish vacation house we were staying in, belong to the Alliance of Evangelical Mennonite Congregations.

The worship experience?

Well, it was like we were at a contemporary Baptist or nondenominational worship service.  They were singing the likes of Chris Tomlin.  The preacher preached on David and Goliath (extemporaneous style).

We really expected something different than what we were use to, in the area of liturgy, singing, attire (not jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers).

Perhaps an Old Order Mennonite gathering, next time?

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