An Amish Autumn Ride
Digital Art - Digital Painting/photographic Art
The Amish have their roots in the Mennonite community. Both were part of the early Anabaptist movement in Europe, which took place at the time of the Reformation. The Anabaptists believed that only adults who had confessed their faith should be baptized, and that they should remain separate from the larger society. Many early Anabaptists were put to death as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants, and many others fled to the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany. Here began the Amish tradition of farming and holding worship services in homes rather than churches.
In 1536, a young Catholic priest from Holland named Menno Simons joined the Anabaptist movement. His writings and leadership united many of the Anabaptist groups, who were nicknamed "Mennonites." In 1693, a Swiss bishop named Jacob Amman broke from the Mennonite church. His followers were called the "Amish." Although the two groups have split several times, the Amish and Mennonite churches still share the same beliefs concerning baptism, non-resistance, and basic Bible doctrines. The Amish and Mennonites both settled in Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious tolerance. The first sizable group of Amish arrived in Lancaster County in the 1720s or 1730s.
There are actually three families, or Anabaptist-related groups, found in Lancaster County: the Amish, Mennonites and Brethren. All three groups share the Anabaptist belief that calls for making a conscious choice to accept God. (Accordingly, only adults are baptized.) The three groups also share the same basic values concerning the all-encompassing authority of the Bible, a philosophy of brotherhood and non-resistance and the importance of family and community.
The groups differ primarily in matters of dress, language, forms of worship and the extent to which they allow modern technology and the forces of the "outside world" to impact their lives. Most Brethren and Mennonites dress much like their "English" neighbors. Other Mennonites, Brethren and Amish Mennonites wear distinctive Amish clothing but may make use of "worldly" conveniences, such as cars, electricity and telephones. On the other hand, Old Order Mennonite and Old Order Amish groups are more restrictive in their views of modern technology, with the Old Order Amish being the most conservative of Lancaster County's "plain" groups.
Pennsylvania Amish Beliefs
There is no single governing body for the entire Old Order Amish population; rather, each church district decides for itself what it will and will not accept. However, all districts base their regulations on a literal interpretation of the Bible and an unwritten set of rules called the Ordnung. And the population as a whole stresses humility, family, community and separation from the modern world.
The Amish of various sects can be found in many states with significant populations in Western New York, Ohio and Indiana in particular.
- See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/towns-and-heritage/amish-country/amish-history-and-beliefs.asp#sthash.1bpnXAeg.dpuf
The base image is one I took in Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY. Hand painted digitally.
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October 14th, 2013
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