Amish Subgroups

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This powerpoint describes 10 different Amish subgroups; who they are and how they function.

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Amish Subgroups:

Amish Subgroups Paige Matthews, Serenity Hooper, Amanda Ross

Amish Subgroups:

Amish Subgroups The Amish are not one cohesive movement. While there are cultural and religious elements that define the Amish as a whole and distinguish them from the outside world, within that framework there are diverse affiliations, divisions, sects, and movements that make up the broader Amish community, and this diversity has greatly increased in just the last century. At the opening of the twentieth century, there were 42 geographically distinct Amish settlements in North America, representing 3 or 4  affiliations . By 2012, the number of settlements had swelled to 493, and the number of affiliations had multiplied to more than 40. If the smaller subgroups within some affiliations are counted, the number of identifiable cohorts rises above 65, not including the more than 130 fairly independent congregations that lack a firm relationship to a wider affiliation. Although a multitude of Amish identities have cropped up over the twentieth century, members of the 2,000 church districts still broadly recognize one another as Amish.

Old Order:

Old Order This is a general term for the conservative Amish mainstream and thus applies to a large number of different Amish groups. Old Order Amish forbid the ownership of motor vehicles, the use of home electricity, and utilize some form of traditional Amish dress. They reject assurance of salvation, practice foot washing as a church ordinance, take communion twice a year, and practice strict non-resistance, forbidding all use of violent force. While affirming the need for the grace of Jesus Christ, Old Order Amish generally also believe that baptism and obedience to the rules and standards of one's church community are necessary for salvation.

Old Order:

Old Order

Old Order:

Old Order The old order groups of both Amish and Mennonites are very similar to each other. The Old Order Mennonites are often referred to as “Horse and Buggy Mennonites” or “Team Mennonites”. Lifestyle No electricity No telephones allowed in homes (sometimes they are allowed at the edge of the property, though, or they may be allowed for business use.) No motor vehicles for personal use (although it is permitted to ride in another person’s personal vehicle) No Television or Radio (limited use of weather radios is usually permitted) No recorded music, and only a cappella music (without instrumentation) is listened to Farming is usually done without the use of modern tractors. Horses are used instead. (some use tractors without rubber tires)

Old Order:

Old Order Attire For women:  Dress is plain, solid colors (usually dark), full skirt no shorter than mid-calf, long sleeves; some use the cape dress, while others use a plain dress with an apron over top. For men:  Dress is plain, solid colors, button down shirts (no polos or t-shirts), dark suits without lapels, suspenders, black or straw broad rimmed hats For both: Plain shoe styles, usually in black, and mandatory black stockings for public wearing. Women and girls are not permitted to cut their hair, and the hair is almost always worn in a bun. Men who are married will grow their beards out, but they are not allowed to have mustaches. Head coverings are worn by all women and girls. Different colors or styles are indicative of what group you’re a part of. There are very subtle differences between them, No jewelry is used, not even a wedding band

Old Order:

Old Order Church Services No instruments are allowed, neither to be played nor listened to Shunning is practiced – This is the discipline of sinners who are put out of fellowship. There are different degrees of shunning practiced, from complete avoidance of the offender, to a putting out of church meetings, but not completely avoided Church meetings are held in member homes Seating is segregated for church services Ministry is not paid; all have regular jobs and serve as volunteers, selected by lot

Old Order:

Old Order Education Children attend school in one room schoolhouses and are taught by church members until the eighth grade Higher education is not allowed

New Order:

New Order The New Order Amish are generally considered more "liberal" or "progressive" than most other Amish groups because of their greater allowance of technology. Some New Order Amish even allow their members to use electricity in their homes. The New Order Amish, however, still practice traditional plain dress and rely on horse and buggy transportation.  In respect to ethics, the New Order Amish are actually often stricter than the Old (particularly in the area of sexual purity among their youth and restrictions on drinking and tobacco use). The split with the Old Order Amish happened, in part, because accusations that the New Order possessed a "holier than thou" attitude in their emphasis on moral purity. The New Order Amish instituted "progressive" religious programs like Sunday schools, Bible studies, and youth activities. These ethical and religious innovations are the primary cause of the division.

New Order:

New Order The New Order is very similar to the Old Order with only a few exceptions: Lifestyle Prohibit alcohol and tobacco use  (most Old Orders allow this, and this is what originally caused the split) Some may allow technology  to be used for specific purposes, such as for businesses. Courting  practices are cleaner and more emphasis is placed on purity during courtship Attire is basically the same Church Services Church services will include Sunday School Less strict with SHUNNING practices Churches will have outreach/missions projects Education is basically the same

Conservative Mennonite:

Conservative Mennonite Conservative Mennonites include numerous groups that identify with the more conservative or traditional element among Mennonite or Anabaptist groups but who are not Old Order groups. The majority of Conservative Mennonite churches historically have an Amish and not a Mennonite background. Those identifying with this group typically drive automobiles, have telephones, and use electricity, and some may have personal computers. They also have Sunday school, hold revival meetings, and operate their own Christian schools .

Conservative Mennonite:

Conservative Mennonite Lifestyle Electricity is permitted Telephones are permitted, although there are restrictions on smart phones Vehicles are permitted, although with restrictions on styles and colors. Antennas are required to be removed. No Television or Radio (limited use of weather radios is usually permitted) Some groups allow the use of filtered internet, while others do not allow this at all. No instruments are played or listened to, with the exception of piano for some groups. Recorded music is allowed, but must adhere to the standard. Modern farming equipment is used.

Conservative Mennonite:

Conservative Mennonite Attire For women:  Dress is plain, simple patterns and colors are allowed by some groups, but are not to draw attention to the wearer, full skirt no shorter than mid-calf, sleeves usually come just past the elbow; most use the cape dress For men:  Dress is plain, solid colors or plaids, but nothing too bold, button down shirts (no polos or t-shirts), dark suits without lapels, suspenders are used by some groups, hats are not used except for weather protection For both: Plain shoe styles, usually in black, and mandatory black stockings for public wearing. Women and girls are not permitted to cut their hair, and the hair is almost always worn in a bun. Men may grow their beards out, but they are not allowed to have mustaches. Beards are kept trimmed, and are not mandatory, whether married or single Head coverings are worn by all women after they make their confession of faith. Different colors or styles are indicative of what group you’re a part of. There are very subtle differences between them, but we know the difference! No jewelry is used, not even a wedding band

Conservative Mennonite:

Conservative Mennonite Church services Church meetings are held in simple buildings Seating for services is segregated, with men and boys on one side, and women and girls on the other. Services are very predictable, and people enter in silence and have fellowship after service. No instruments are allowed in church, but some groups allow piano for private use Shunning is replaced with Excommunication, which means that someone who has violated the standards of the church will be put out of fellowship and won’t receive the member’s greeting, but may still attend services and be among the members. They are encouraged to do what is necessary to re-join the church. Sunday School is a part of the church service Revivals are held regularly Missions and outreaches are encouraged

Conservative Mennonite:

Conservative Mennonite Education Children attend school in simple, church run schools, and are taught by church members until the eighth grade. Some groups are now providing education until 10th grade, and a few are even attending through 12th grade, although this is not common. Some people are permitted to continue their education to become doctors or nurses, although this is not common.

Beachy Amish-Mennonite:

Beachy Amish-Mennonite Perhaps the most distinct faction within the Amish continuum, the Beachy Amish Mennonite allow motor vehicles, electricity in homes, and use English in their services. They still practice plain dress and forbid television and radio, though some allow limited use of the internet. They define themselves as evangelical in orientation and participate in global missionary work. They are a loosely affiliated network and vary in both doctrine and practice from one congregation to the next, but they are the Amish group most likely to uphold the true biblical gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

Beachy Amish-Mennonite:

Beachy Amish-Mennonite There is a very loose governmental structure, so groups vary a lot in practice, with some being closer to the Conservative groups and others relating more closely with the Moderate groups. The Beachy groups would tend to have the same guidelines as the Conservatives, with the following exceptions. Lifestyle May allow more instruments, although a lot don’t allow any Less restriction on technology, allowing smart phones and some allowing movies Attire Tend to stick to the solid fabrics for clothing, but usually allow more embellishments, especially for children. Less restrictions on men’s clothing .

Beachy Amish-Mennonite:

Beachy Amish-Mennonite Church Service Some groups do not have segregated seating It is usually easier to come back into fellowship after being Excommunicated Education It seems like more of the Beachy people will receive higher education

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites:

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites These groups do not share the same level of strictness as the most conservative ones mentioned previously but have similar origins or have withdrawn from the groupings ( like making the use of the radio optional or allowing more usage of the internet). Others have formed from their withdrawal from the other groups. These include much smaller groups like (but not limited to): Bethel Fellowship, Mid Atlantic Fellowship, and Midwest Mennonite Fellowship, and numerous unaffiliated congregations.

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites:

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites These groups would allow everything that the Conservative groups allow, and also have these differences: Lifestyle Few restrictions on vehicles, if any Television and Radio are permitted Internet and movies are usually allowed, as long as they are clean Most instruments are allowed Attire For women:  Dress is modest, but not necessarily a cape dress. Larger prints are allowed, as well as bolder colors For men:  Most men would still wear button down shirts for services, but there are few restrictions on daily clothing, although most men would not wear short pants For both: Footwear is not usually restricted, although some do wear black shoes for church only. Women and girls are permitted to trim their hair, but still keep it long, and it is usually kept in a bun or braided. Men have less restrictions on facial hair, and it is largely a matter of choice Head coverings are worn by most women, although they tend to be smaller and less distinct No jewelry is used, not even a wedding band

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites:

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites Church services Church buildings are still simple, but may have more comfort factors Seating for services is not usually segregated Services allow more for spontaneous worship and tend to be more enthusiastic Sometimes instruments are allowed in church Excommunication is less common and it is easier to re-join the church Sunday School is a part of the church service Revivals are held regularly Missions and outreaches are encouraged

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites:

Intermediate and Moderate Conservative Mennonites Education Some churches have their own schools, and it is more common to attend school for longer. Some people choose to home school their children. Some people are permitted to continue their education to become doctors or nurses, although this is not common.

Theological Mennonites:

Theological Mennonites These groups hold to most of the theological beliefs of the more conservative groups, but  do not have written standards , so these groups aren’t easily distinguished from other Christian groups. These groups identify as Mennonite and still hold to Pacifism, strong work ethic, and Adult (Believer’s) Baptism. They would also allow only male pastors and leaders. Some women may still wear coverings for worship services, but few would wear them on a daily basis. Of the seven ordinances practiced by most Mennonite groups, this is how these groups would practice them: Marriage Communion or Lord’s supper (probably not as closed as the other groups) Footwashing (only some groups still do this) Baptism Holy Kiss for greeting fellow members (only sometimes by some groups) Wearing of the woman’s veiling (done by some, but not common, and only for church services) Anointing with oil (only in extreme cases, may still be practiced)

Progressive Mennonites:

Progressive Mennonites These groups are basically  just Mennonite in name , and are quite liberal in theology and practice, even allowing women pastors and supportive of the LGBT agenda. The only thing distinguishing these groups from other “Christian” groups is that they still adhere to Believer’s baptism and believe strongly in keeping peace and non-violence.

Swartzentruber:

Swartzentruber These are generally considered to be the ultra-conservative Amish. The Swartzentruber broke from the Old Order groups primarily over the matter of strict and universal application of Shunning all who leave the Amish.

The “Reformist” Amish:

The “Reformist” Amish This movement does not represent a separate Amish group, but rather clusters of Amish congregations scattered throughout the various mainstream Old Order groups. The reformists are defined by actively promoting moral reforms (many similar to those of the New Order Amish) while avoiding any religious/doctrinal challenges or technological reforms that would likely result in a break with their larger Old Order affiliations. In this way, the Reformists somewhat resemble the moral reform movements in medieval Catholicism that recognized the corruption, laxity, and hypocrisy in the professing Christian culture and attempted to call people back to holiness, but did so while being careful not to challenge any of the actual doctrines coming out of Rome. Reformist Amish simply want the Amish to live more strictly moral lives while remaining committed to the teaching and practice of whatever Amish sect they are already in. Reformist Amish are unlikely to even recognize themselves as being part of a "reformist" movement, as to them that would sound schismatic.

Indiana Swiss Amish:

Indiana Swiss Amish The Swiss Amish of Adams County have different origins than the majority of North America’s Amish.  The ancestors of Amish in these and other Swiss communities arrived in America in the mid-1800s from Switzerland and surrounding areas. Swiss Amish have maintained distinct customs and generally more conservative practices than the Pennsylvania German-ethnicity Amish today found predominantly in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states. Swiss Amish only travel by open buggy.  Swiss Amish in the Adams or Allen County communities speak a different dialect from the Pennsylvania German Amish settlements.  The difference between the two dialects can be distinct. Swiss Amish have other distinct cultural markers, including the practice of yodeling as well as a typical burial customs.

Indiana Swiss Amish:

Indiana Swiss Amish Differences between Swiss and Pennsylvania German Amish: language -the Swiss Amish dialect differs from that spoken by the majority of Amish yodeling custom -the Swiss Amish maintain a custom of yodeling unseen in Pennsylvania Dutch communities burial customs -Swiss Amish use mostly unmarked wooden markers to indicate place of burial buggies -only open-top buggies are used by Swiss Amish technology -Swiss Amish groups tend to be more conservative in use of technology than Old Order affiliation Pennsylvania German Amish last names and intermarriage -Swiss Amish names are distinct, and Swiss Amish rarely intermarry with Pennsylvania German Amish

Class Questions:

Class Questions Can you tell the difference in appearance between each Amish subgroup? For the most part, all of the Amish subgroups seem relatively the same to the blind eye. At a glance they would all seem the same. There are varying differences from dialect, to clothing, how they act, and the type of buggies they drive. Is the Mennonite Religion a subgroup of the Amish faith or is a completely different thing, because from the outside looking in the seem very comparable? Mennonite is considered a subgroup of the Amish faith. I've seen people who appear to be Amish in Mongolian grill and Walmart in Celina before. Do certain Amish groups do some modern things while others don’t? Though some groups, such as the Swartzentruber, are much stricter in their faith, they are all generally allowed to participate in aspects of modern society.

Class Questions:

Class Questions Having worked with the Amish on a daily basis over the course of the summer and fall, I discovered that different groups of Amish would all contribute to the same job and arrive at the same jobsite. Are these Amish generally from different subgroups, or would they tend to be from the same subgroup but be located in different geographical areas? Basics of a subgroup is that they are all from the same building blocks. For example, we all go to Lake Campus but our “subgroups” are our major, we still participate in classes with one another. This is a good way to look at this question, they all have the basis of the same beliefs and are Amish. There can be several different kinds of subgroups on one worksite. It mostly would depend on the location. Some areas can have several different subgroups or one subgroup. For example, in Indiana a lot of the Amish communities are mixtures of small subgroups so they often mingle and work together. Where as in our area of Ohio they are mostly of them same subgroup. Where are most of the subgroups located and why did they end up in that particular area? The locations of subgroups really just depends on which group they broke off of. For example, in Holmes County there are 4 main subgroups: New Order, Old Order, Swartzentruber, and Andy Weaver. Andy Weaver is a mixture between the Old Order and the Swartzentruber and totals 15% of the Holmes Amish Population. Basically, it just comes down to which aspects of a group they decide to combine.

Class Questions:

Class Questions What characterizes a subgroup as a subgroup? How do these subgroups feel towards each other? Characterizing a subgroup is really just splitting off of another group and combining ideals of another. They all come from the basis of the Amish religion. Like my previous example of us all being Lake Campus Students but our subgroups are our major, we still all get along even though we may differ in ideals and interests. Are Amish communities formed and defined by a single subgroup or affiliation, or do they allow for cohabitation, resulting in a blended community? Coming back to the example of Holmes County Indiana, there were 4 groups (3 originally) and a group decided to blend together the Old Order and the Swartzentruber creating the Andy Weaver which created the 4 th subgroup. Blending and mixing of the Amish is how these subgroups are created and there can often be several in a community, it just depends on the location.

Class Questions:

Class Questions Are Amish allowed to leave and enter different subgroups? Mixing subgroups is how they were created in the beginning. I can’t say it happens often and that it isn’t always frowned upon but it does happen. This generally would take place during Rumspringa when the younger Amish are able to go out in the world to date and experience modern world. Many young Amish will meet other Amish of other subgroups where they may decided to get married or switch communities. Which subgroup is the biggest? Which subgroup is the smallest?  It can be difficult to know which subgroup is the largest but the most well known and widely practiced would be the New and Old Order and Mennonite. The smallest is unknown as there are so many different subgroups and affiliations, some of which are even unknown.

Sources:

Sources https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/15/amish-ten-things-you-need-to-know/14111249/ http://myalmostamishlife.com/different-types-amish-mennonites/ https://carm.org/amish-groups-and-divisions http://amishamerica.com/who-are-the-swiss-amish/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Mennonites http://amishamerica.com/four-holmes-county-amish-groups/

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