The Amish

The Amish, who speak a language known as  Pennysylvanian Dutch , are a Mennonite Christian group from Switzerland, Germany and Austria who migrated  to the eastern States of the US several hundred years ago to escape religious persecution.

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, Christian pacifism, self sufficiency and slowness to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The Amish value rural life, family, manual labor, and humility

There are about  350,000 Amish living  in the United States.Amish church groups seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world. Non-Amish people are generally referred to as “English” by the Amish, and outside influences are often described as “worldly”.

Amish church membership begins with adult baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 23. Church districts have between 20 and 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member’s home or barn. The rules of the church  covers many aspects of day-to-day living, including prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Generally, a heavy emphasis is placed on church and family relationships. The Amish typically operate their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education after grade eight.

Mennonite Christians first settled in the Delaware Valley in 1683 and have been part of eastern Pennsylvania’s communities and religious life for over 300 years.

Lancaster County is home to the oldest Amish settlement in the U.S. The Amish lifestyle and culture insulates them from many of the worldly influences of our modern society

On Sunday the family will hitch the trotter to the enclosed surrey for the ride to church service and  visits to family and friends. The young men of Lancaster County will borrow Dad’s top-down buggy for a horse-drawn cruise through the village.

Their Standard bred carriage horses high-step down Route 30 while truckers ease their big rigs around them trying not to spook the ponies. The young men will use the open coach in the Sunday courting ritual and you will see them tour through the village with a chaperoning sister or brother.