What would it be like to share all your goods in common with your neighbors? Linda Maendel is a schoolteacher in a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, and could answer that question firsthand.

Linda is also the author of an upcoming book called Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community. 

I’m happy to let you know that Linda will be sharing a look into Hutterite faith and life here on Amish America as we approach the release of Hutterite Diaries in May.

Hutterite Diaries Linda MaendelUnlike the Amish, Hutterites live communally–on large colonies, mainly on the prairie lands of Canada and the upper Midwest.

Another unusual practice, intriguing in today’s society: besides a few personal items, Hutterites share their material possessions with others in the colony.

Linda answers your questions

I’m looking forward to hearing from Linda because, besides scattered posts over the years, we haven’t had much here on the Hutterites, a people related to the Amish.

And we’d like to ask for your help.

We had the idea to ask you for your questions about Linda’s life on the colony and Hutterites in general.

She’ll answer some of those questions here over the next weeks and months.

I’m going to let Linda take it from here–by touching on one question you might have: “who are the Hutterite people?”

Who are the Hutterites?

The Hutterian Brethren or Hutterites are a faith group stemming from the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Hutterites, Mennonites and the Amish share common roots.

All of these groups are Anabaptists and trace their beginnings to the same era, to the same movement, during the Reformation. Unlike the Amish and the Mennonites, however, Hutterites live communally, following the teachings in Acts chapter 2.

Today, Hutterites live in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and in the United States: North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Manitoba Hutterite Colony

Living quarters on the colony in Manitoba

Hutterites are mostly farmers, but many are also manufacturing things like ventilation systems, hog equipment, furniture, windows and doors. Many colonies, including my own, have their own teachers. I work as an Educational Assistant and teach German and English to students in K-8.

How Hutterite Diaries came to be

In my spare time I love to write and since April I’ve been working on a book. Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community, which is scheduled to be released in May, is part of the Plainspoken Series (including Chasing the Amish Dream and Called to be Amish), with Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite writers.

Hutterite Diaries (available for pre-order here) is a collection of stories I’ve written over a number of years. They are on a variety of topics pertaining to Hutterite life: work, celebrations, history, leisure activities and outreach – all woven together by faith and communal values. Here’s the back cover blurb:

What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community? In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bringing in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society.

Because few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites, this book offers a rare glimpse into Hutterite life.

Hutterite Women

I first learned about this series when a friend sent me a query letter from editor Valerie Weaver-Zercher. Through it I learned Herald Press was looking for a Hutterite writer for their upcoming Plainspoken series.

I was intrigued and responded to the letter, which led me to start working on this project. It’s been an enjoyable and enriching experience. I’m really looking forward to the release of this book, and to hear how people will respond to it.

What would you like to ask Linda about the Hutterites? Let us know below!