Monday, April 17, 2017

N ~No No's

While many Amish communities have a list of written rules that govern basically every aspect of their life, the community I grew up in did not.

Instead, it was all delivered orally, twice a year at ordnungs church. It took hours listening to the rules, and my stomach was always knotted with dread at what new things they might be adding and the changes that we'd have to make before being allowed to participate in communion two weeks later.

I was sixteen, and desperately wanting to stay out of trouble with the church. I happened upon a brilliant idea. I would go home from these church services and any other time rules were added or changed and write everything into a notebook in categories so I can keep track of everything.

My parents thought it was a pretty good idea, and somehow happened to mention it to my Mom's brother, who also happened to be the bishop in our church district.

It earned me a visit from the ministry. Our church rules shall remain unwritten they informed me solemnly. I didn't have to make a confession, but I was asked to burn the notebook, and to not write any more rules anywhere.


  1. Why? why couldn't write down what the rules were? Your intentions were pure.

  2. I find that odd because that is a lot to remember and people will remember things differently.

  3. I agree with Leanne. This is essentially the trouble with eye-witnesses - everybody remembers things differently.
    My problem (well, one of my problems!)is that I'm just bull-headed enough to keep the notebook hidden, no matter what!

  4. How sad that your good intentions were punished. At least your parents had supported you in the idea.

  5. How frustrating for you! I'm so grateful to be able to read scriptures for guidance to know what the Lord would have me do.

  6. I think I would have kept the notebook anyway. It makes absolutely no sense to expect people to commit such a long list of rules to memory.

  7. Visiting from A to Z. I am amazed - I do not understand the logic, but perhaps there was no logic involved. I come from a religious heritage where the rules are written down, debated, and interpreted through constant study, so it is a different way of thinking for me.


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