13 responses to Amish Questions Answered – Part 3
  • *
    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on I have a question Erik on shunning..... (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:53)

    I have a question Erik on shunning.....

    Good morning everyone and a really good post Erik with some great questions being answered. I have a question myself regarding shunning, since i know a little about it i was wondering how far this is really taken, and can the severity differ depending on the church district. So what I’m asking is how far can an Amish family who is involved in shunning really take this, and can they communicate with the person who’s being shunned in certain circumstances? Richard

    • *
      Comment on Shunning practices (April 2nd, 2012 at 10:37)

      Shunning practices

      Richard you are right it can vary. Shunning is controversial because it seems cruel and when abused I am sure it can be (and some probably see it as cruel done “properly” or improperly regardless). There are probably lots of different experiences people have had, but generally, Amish do communicate with and can help the person who is being shunned but do not accept aid from that person.

      I don’t think it’s a very enjoyable experience generally speaking (for both sides), even when it’s done out of love. But Amish take their baptismal promises seriously. There’s an interview with an Amishman on this site on the topic, here is the first paragraph of his answer:

      “First of all I believe the name “shunning” itself is a misnomer. Shunning makes you think of avoidance or ostracizing when in reality only some forms of interaction are restrained. “Shunning” as practiced today could perhaps be best described as a ritualistic reminder of having gone astray and having broken your commitment to the Lord Jesus and the body of believers you made your commitment and baptismal promise with. Notice I said ‘with’ as opposed to ‘to’.”


  • *
    Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 2nd, 2012 at 12:32)

    Regarding the question about whether some Amish wish they could farm again: I actually see very little of this among many Lancaster Co Amish. Rather the sentiment among some is that ‘who would want to farm?’ Now I know that this does not hold true with everyone, but there are definitely good reasons for those working at jobs to feel this way.
    One reason is the very cyclic nature of milk prices. Dairy farming is largely dependent on a milk check and when that check is regulated by gov. pricing it can get to be tough living.
    Farming is also an expensive start-up when considering land costs. And for many families with a handful of boys it is not realistic for the dad to be able to help all his sons buy a farm, especially not in Lancaster Co. The Amish in Lanc Co are also not nearly as agreeable to moving to new settlements as say, the Old Order Mennonites. So you have these choices: stay in Lanc, and A get a job, or B hope to get the family farm, if there even is one, or C buy 40 acres for a million dollars.
    One other big reason for avoiding farming is for some insane reason the technology allowed on the family farm is much more tightly regulated than the things allowed for a construction business. I know of a man who quit farming largely due to this reason. His children were growing up and he had little help on the farm, but to hire someone to harvest his crops with a big ole machine was verboten. Combine that with the fact that a family side business was where the real money came from anyway…

  • *
    Klaas from the Netherlands
    Comment on I have a question Erik about spending sundays.... (April 2nd, 2012 at 14:21)

    I have a question Erik about spending sundays....

    First of all I admire your site. I won’t idealize the Amish but can certainly learn something from them. My question is ‘Do the Amish, Mennonites work on Sunday?’ They go to church of course but do they spent the remainder of their sunday as a kind of sabbath?

    • *
      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 4th, 2012 at 04:48)

      Hi Klaas, thanks, and no they do not work on Sundays outside of necessary tasks like milking and caring for animals. After church Sunday is spent visiting others or resting at home. On off Sundays (the Sunday when their district does not have church), Amish may have devotions, visit another church (for instance if a family member is holding church in another district) or go visiting.


  • *
    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on Thanks for you quick answer Erik on the shunning question...... (April 2nd, 2012 at 14:44)

    Thanks for you quick answer Erik on the shunning question......

    Thanks from getting back to my question Erik, and shunning must be one of the hardest things an Amish family would have to do. Richard

  • *
    Al in Ky.
    Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 2nd, 2012 at 20:08)

    A lot of more good information, Erik. I am really enjoying
    this series of “Amish Questions Answered”.

    I was interested in your comments on the development of new
    Amish settlements. I am trying to keep track of new Amish
    settlements starting in Ky., and I find The Budget very helpful.
    In each issue I try to read the letters from all of the Kentucky
    scribes, and in the midst of all of the other news, a new
    settlement will be mentioned here and there. I also enjoy the issues of The Budget every late Dec. and early Jan., because many of the scribes will give “year end vital statistics” of their settlement and if you wish to, you can keep track of which settlements are growing and which are declining.

    • *
      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 4th, 2012 at 04:51)

      Me too Al, thanks. Do you know about how many Kentucky scribes are writing in the Budget now?

      • *
        Al in Ky.
        Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 5th, 2012 at 21:27)

        If my count is correct, there are at least 51 scribes (Amish
        and Mennonite) now regularly sending in news (letters) to
        The Budget. The two newest Amish communities that I’ve read about
        are Hawesville, Ky., and Gravel Switch, Ky. I occasionally
        read of small groups of Amish from outside of Kentucky visiting
        Ky. for the purpose of “land speculation”, so I would think we
        will see more new Amish communities developing in Ky. in the

      • *
        Al in Ky.
        Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 5th, 2012 at 21:32)

        In my response, Erik, I should have said “… at least 51 Kentucky
        scribes…”. I wonder how many Budget scribes there are in
        all? I would think at least 500. I think I remember reading in
        an issue of The Budget last year, that there is a waiting list
        for new scribes to send in news, since The Budget does not
        want to get any larger in size than it is now.

        • *
          Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 3 (April 9th, 2012 at 16:54)

          Thanks for this update Al. The Budget must remain “economical” with the # of scribes it allows. Otherwise it will go over-Budget. Har-har. I will stop now.

  • *
    Comment on What happened to "Ask an Amishman" (April 8th, 2012 at 19:54)

    What happened to "Ask an Amishman"

    Erik, what happened to the “Ask an Amishman” series of posts you were doing?

    • *
      Comment on Ask a (new) Amishman? (April 9th, 2012 at 16:58)

      Ask a (new) Amishman?

      That was a few years back and was contingent on my friend’s time for answering questions, which was quite limited (and also internet access which has been cut back since). Would enjoy continuing it, maybe I need to float the idea back at him or someone else…some of his input has filtered into other posts in the meanwhile.

      And while we’re at it, why don’t I just say that if there are any other Amish reading this that might want to consider a regular or semi-regular feature like that, you’re invited to drop me an email: ewesner@gmail.com

Leave a reply to Amish Questions Answered – Part 3


Resource List
Reliable information from one of the largest Amish sites on the web.

Join over 15,000 email subscribers to get:
Amish Community Info | Book Giveaways | Amish Writers & non-Amish Experts | More

Get email updates

100% Free | No Spam | Unsubscribe Anytime