Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus said

How to tell a real peacemaker? Check out their beliefs not the posters and marches in front of hospitals or funerals clamoring for media attention. Statement on the War in Iraq by the Mennonites (Mennonite Church USA), at the Global Anabaptist Encyclopedia On-line. Also useful for doing some genealogy searches if you have Mennonites in your family tree.

Using this encyclopedia, I somehow wandered into the archives of Mennonite Life, and in the 1950 issue saw an article about the Mennonites who had immigrated to the Freeman, South Dakota area. In the immediate vicinity of Freeman there were 13 Mennonite churches in 1950 (I haven't checked to see what it is now). General Conference Mennonite, Krimmer Mennonite Brethren, Evangelical Mennonite Brethren, Mennonite Brethren, and United Missionary Church. 13 Mennonite churches to serve 3400 Mennonites. Maybe it's my imagination, but it sounds like they needed a little in-house peace making. To be fair, these 13 churches were the result of different immigrations over a period of about 50 years from three different groups, the Hutterites, the Swiss, and the Low German (Dutch ethnics who were Prussianized who settled in Russia) who spoke different languages and had distinct cultures. There is almost no difference in doctrine--and splits, even within ethnic and language group, have been over leadership, type of clothing (aprons, hats, polka-dot or plain), use of modern technology, etc.

These are not peacemakers.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

You have a fascinating project here, Norma. Focused, yet broad in scope.

I especially liked the recent post on libraries and churches using "promotions" to get people through the door.

Pleased to say I've included you in the newest installment of Surfer's Paradise. I hope the link serves you well.

If you have a chance to come by for a look I hope you'll check out the new blog carnival as well.

Have a great week.