Beliefs<br /><ul><li>Believe in remaining separate from the rest of the world, physically and socially
Believe that association with “the English” may be polluting
Each congregation-called a “district” is to remain autonomous
There is no centralized Amish organization to enforce beliefs/behaviors</li></li></ul><li>Believe that God carefully weighs the individual’s total lifetime record of obedience to the church and then decides whether the person’s eternal destiny will be the reward of Heaven or the punishment in Hell<br />If a person is baptized into the Amish church and later leaves or is excommunicated, they have no hope of attaining Heaven<br />
Baptism<br />Amish youth decide if they want to join the church in their late teens and early twenties.<br />If they choose to be baptized, they submit themselves to the order of the church for the rest of their lives<br />In doing so, candidates make a confession of faith and agree to comply with the order of the Amish community, or the Ordnung, and unwritten tradition that spells out the expected behaviors and regulations.<br />Church members who break the commitment and refuse to repent and confess their sins are excommunicated and “shunned”. <br />The shunned are prohibited from engaging in any social interaction, cut off from all close friends and associates.<br />Shunning happens infrequently, although it serves as an effective form of social control for the Amish that preserves their spiritual purity<br />
The Amish reject involvement with military/warfare.<br /><ul><li>Believe that the Amish must never resort to violence or to take up arms in war
Does not extend to disciplining their children </li></li></ul><li>Church Organization<br />Full servant or Bishop (VӧlligerDiener) <br />Provides spiritual leadership for the congregation. He preaches, and performs baptisms, marriages, and ordinations. Also pronounces excommunication on unrepentant members of the congregation.<br />Servant of the Book or Minister (DienerzumBuch)<br />Assists the Bishop in preaching and teaching. Most congregations have two Ministers.<br />Full Servant of the Poor or Full Deacon (VӧlligerArmendiener)<br />This office is rare in North America, but was once common in Europe. He assists with baptism and does some preaching. His main role was as guardians of doctrinal orthodoxy.<br />Servant of the Poor or Deacon (Armendiener)<br />Reads from the Bible at church services, assists the Bishops in various duties, and administers funds for the poor.<br />
Practices of the Swartzentruber Amish:<br />The SwartzentruberAmishbroke away from the True Old Order Amish in 1913 because they felt that the latter were too modern.<br />Their set of behavioral rules, the Ordnung, is particularly strict and governs almost every area of their life.<br />Women are not allowed to cut their hair, shave their legs or underarms.<br />Prohibited from any type of birth control, makeup, nail polish, perfume.<br />Rules for men are more relaxed.<br />Their furniture must be built to specific sizes.<br />The wood has to be stained a dark color, no lighter stain that would bring out the grain of the wood is allowed because it would make the furniture look too fancy.<br />The widths of the home’s door casings and windows are specified, as are the interior wall colors, curtain colors, dish/silverware design, bed sheets, pillowcases, comforters, etc.<br />Sexual behavior between spouses is for reproductive purposes only.<br />They cannot engage in sexual relations on the many fasting holidays<br />
Style<br />Amish men wear straight-cut suits and coats without collars, lapels or pockets.<br />During the summer they wear vests instead of coats to church.<br />Their trousers never have creases or cuffs and are worn with suspenders.<br />Pants are made with a flap in the front held closed by buttons to avoid the use of a zipper.<br />Young children have gallas (suspenders) made of the same fabric as the pants.<br />Belts, sweaters, and neckties are forbidden<br />Amish clothing styles encourage humility and separation from the world and are a practical expression of their faith<br />Fashion is simple and meant to be functional<br />Clothing is made at home of plain fabrics and is primarily dark in color, including shades of purple, blue, wine, brown, grey, and black.<br />Lighter colors are used for younger children and summer shirts and dresses for adults in some groups<br /><ul><li>Young men are clean shaven prior to marriage, while married men are required to let their beards grow.
Mustaches are forbidden because they are considered to be adornment.
Haircuts are typically block cut in the back and longer than most English styles.
Typically wear broad brimmed felt hats in the winter and for dress year round. During the summer most groups will allow their men to wear straw hats.</li></li></ul><li>Amish women typically wear solid-color dresses with long sleeves and a full skirt, covered with a cape on the bodice.<br />Some less conservative groups allow the women to wear short sleeved dresses but never sleeveless.<br />Lavenders, purples, darker greens, mint greens, mauves, pinks, some yellows, white, black and beige are all colors that could be used in everyday dresses.<br />Sunday dresses are typically black with a white apron.<br />Stockings are black cotton and shoes are also black<br />They are not permitted to wear patterned clothing or jewelry.<br />Amish women never cut their hair, typically wear it in a braid or bun on the back of the head concealed with a small white cap called a covering.<br />An Amish woman would never be seen outside her home without her covering.<br />When going to town or church they typically wear a stiff black bonnet over their covering.<br />
Amish Education<br />Today a few Amish children in some states still attend rural public schools, but the vast majority goes to one- or two-room schools that are operated by Amish parents. A local board of three to five fathers organizes the school, hires a teacher, approves the curriculum, oversees the budget, and supervises maintenance.<br />About 42,000 Amish youth attend some 1,600 private schools that end with eighth grade. Instruction is typically in English. The teachers are usually Amish women who have not gone to high school but are graduates of Amish schools themselves. <br />Scripture reading and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer opens each day, but religion is not formally taught in the school. The curriculum includes reading, arithmetic, spelling, grammar, penmanship, history, and some geography. Science and sex education are usually not taught.<br />
Working Amish<br />The Amish are primarily farmers. <br />Some, however, are carpenters and cabinet makers, blacksmiths, and buggy harness makers, all geared toward supporting the Amish lifestyle. <br />Others work in general stores that provide the Amish community with goods necessary to their lifestyle that they cannot produce themselves.<br />Men usually work on the farm, with women helping from time to time, if needed.<br />Men are also mainly in charge of financial matters.<br />Women do the cooking, washing, cleaning, etc.<br />
Amish Diet <br /><ul><li>Food is one of the methods of celebration among the Amish. Sharing a meal or a snack is a great way to fellowship
Homegrown fruits and vegetables, eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, play a very important part in the Amish diet. Vegetables often found in Amish meals include peas, corn, zucchini, beets, beans, rhubarb, and many others. Cabbage and potatoes are especially important. Sauerkraut—a type of pickled cabbage—appears at many Amish meals
Meat often comes from the animals they butcher on the farm. It's a community tradition to butcher together, especially when doing a hog. Often they can their meat to preserve it since they don't have large freezers or refrigerators
Amish main meals are usually built around hearty meat dishes, such as pork chops, ham, roast beef, or meatloaf.
Dairy products, especially eggs and cheese, are also important dietary staples. The Amish are known throughout the country for the quality of the cheese they produce and market. Most Amish families keep at least a few chickens so they can eat freshly laid eggs all year round. Most meals are topped off with desserts. They can range from a layered jello dessert to cake to ice cream to homemade pies. The sweet tooth reigns in Amish communities.
An Amish meal is usually served with water to drink
Amish women bake a great deal, preparing breads, cookies, pies, and cakes.
There are several foods that originate or have found their home in the Amish communities. One of the favorites is the peanut butter spread found in many local restaurants. It's made of peanut butter and marshmallow spread.</li></li></ul><li>
Internal and External Conflicts<br />Since arriving in North America, there have occasionally been disputes within the Amish community. Some members wanted to:<br />Construct churches and hold meetings there rather than in homes<br />Educate their children beyond they elementary grades<br />Allow their clothes to include buttons or pockets<br />Vote or become involved in public life<br />There have also been disagreements in beliefs and religious practices:<br />“Stream” baptism: Baptisms had traditionally been held in individual homes. In the mid-19th century, some Amish wanted to follow the tradition of Jesus who was baptized in the Jordan river. After much debate, the church decided to accept both methods as valid.<br />Stream baptism was phased out around 1910<br />Universalism: The concept that all persons would eventually be “saved”. <br />Hell: Whether it exists as a place where people are eternally punished.<br />
Accidents: Highway accidents between motor vehicles and Amish black horse and buggies are a concern to many.<br />Horse-drawn vehicles generally travel between 5 and 8 mph.<br />In some states, they line the back of their buggies with reflective tape as an alternative to a slow-moving-vehicle sign.<br />