Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations Amish topic of
Vermillion Rotary Amish topic of Vermillion Rotary The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD. President Mary Edelen opened the meeting and led the members in the invocation. This was followed by a round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests. President Edelen introduced Rotarian Joe Edelen as the program person for the day. Joe introduced and showed a video about the Amish entitled The Amish: How They Survive. Currently there are approximately 200,000 Amish in the United States. Their population doubles about every 20 years. Their faith and life are firmly rooted in the Bible. This has resulted in a strong resistance to change, and so the Old Order Amish have become quite distinctive in their thinking, dress, and lifestyle. The largest general grouping is in Ohio. The congregations meet in homes, with the worship service lasting about three hours. Their ministers or preachers are determined by casting lots and they serve for life. Despite the seeming similarity in appearance, many groups of Amish have quite distinct differences in practice. Each district decides for itself what rules to follow. Technological acceptance depends on the needs of individual groups with regard to survival. Several years ago most Amish were farmers. The fact is that Amish farmers cannot compete financially with the result that only about 10 percent are farmers today. They had to start looking elsewhere for a way to survive. Cottage industries became much more common. Tourism has become a major source of income. Other groups have started their own businesses such as food products, furniture, and small industries. Amish furniture is so distinctive it has become a brand name by itself. Practicality has resulted in some groups taking on non-Amish partners to meet the needs of manufacturing and distribution, which would be in conflict with their beliefs. Love of God is directly connected to Love of Neighbor. This has resulted in strong community ties. Neighbor helping neighbor has helped them survive and prosper. Hard work is also a primary means of survival. Children approaching adulthood are allowed to explore the world outside the community. They are free to leave but if they commit to the community, it is for a lifetime. As expansion of the population takes place, new land may be purchased in other places and new communities are started. Minimizing the use of technology is a faith statement as well as a means of controlling their environment and ensuring the survival of the community.

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