A reader just shared this delightful video of Amish schoolchildren singing for the Ohio House of Representatives in November.
In the video you’ll see and hear Marvin Wengerd speaking on behalf of the Amish. Before singing begins, Marvin holds up a 2015 Ohio Amish Directory and addresses the House:
“On behalf of the 32,262 people, Amish people in this directory, we want to thank you for allowing us to live in your great state–or in our state, and protecting our liberties, and we want to honor you, by obeying the laws that you make. We want to support you by working hard and being honest, and paying our taxes. And we want to bless you this afternoon with a song and pray that God would assist you, and give you wisdom, give you a love for all Ohioans, and bless you for your selfless service to mankind.”
I am going to hazard a guess that this is the same Marvin Wengerd of Carlisle Printing which publishes the directory (UPDATE: A reader writes that Marvin is actually of Carlisle Publishing, and his brother Marcus is of next-door company Carlisle Printing).
The schoolchildren are from the Walnut Creek Valley School and are a New Order Amish affiliation. They are accompanied by Representative Al Landis of Ohio’s 98th district.
The singing is beautiful, and of course the context is interesting. While Amish and politicians make uncommon bedfellows, Amish know that maintaining good relations with the powers of the state can pay dividends when push comes to shove on matters of importance to them.
That’s not to doubt the sincerity of their good wishes to the Legislature, just a possible explanation for why we see Amish people singing in such an atypical and high-profile setting.
If you liked what you heard, you might also enjoy this video of New Order Amish girls singing “City of Light”.
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So beautiful! And every word was understandable ! Great teaching evident.
It looked like there were a couple of teachers/older bodies in attendance, in addition to Marvin. What an uplifting song.
I am wondering if Mark (who posts on here) is going to ‘fess up? Thought I glimpsed him in there, but wasn’t sure. 🙂
Looks like a guilty smiley to me. What do you say, Erik?
Could be, that smiley is a little ambiguous. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt til I’m told otherwise 🙂
“The singing is beautiful, and of course the context is interesting. While Amish and politicians make uncommon bedfellows, Amish know that maintaining good relations with the powers of the state can pay dividends when push comes to shove on matters of importance to them”
Of course too, given their history of being oppressed by various governments over the centuries, the Amish (of many stripes), and like religions, have learned to engratiate themselves in the favor of the ruling officials instead of being pushed out or worse.
I’m not trying to be critical though.
Behind-the-scenes Amish politicking
I think there is a big difference between kow-towing to someone in power and simply finding mutual middle ground and ways to work together. Of course some Amish are not going to be so comfortable in these political orbits. Fortunate for them, there are Amish who are (e.g., Amish Steering Committee), and since despite differences there is a lot of mutual ground across Amish affiliations, benefits gained are usually appreciated by most if not all Amish people. For instance, draft exemptions or child labor permissions.
Amish Children Sing for Ohio Legislature
Thanks you for sharing Erik! What a beautiful way to start the week!!
Amish Children Sing for Ohio Legislature
Their singing was beautiful. Maybe only God knows what their singing did before the legislature. It may have done great things.
I appreciated the sincerity in Marvin Wengerd’s words and tone. Also his sly humor in the “pay our taxes” comment. You can see Landis start to crack up a bit.
That was Marvin Wengerd. However, he is not with Carlisle Printing, but Carlisle Publishing. His brother Marcus is Carlisle Printing. They work somewhat together, but it is two different companies, and literally next door to each other. Carlisle Publishing publishes the women’s magazine “Keepers at Home” among other books (like the Ohio Amish Directory).
Thanks PC, just noted that above. I also see in various places reference to a Carlisle Press, in Sugarcreek. Not sure if that’s an old name/location or a related or even unrelated company.
Not sure on the Carlisle Press thing. The brothers used to work together, perhaps a previous business name before they separated the businesses??? Don’t know.
I’ve gotten some more info on that–my contact who knows Marvin thinks the two were together at one time as Carlisle Press, but Marcus, as a current member of a plain car driving group took over the printing part because of tech issues which would complicate having it as a New Order person. That’s what he thinks at least.
Love the Post, Loved the Song
I loved the post and I loved the song.
Thanks Erik for the post.
Gladly. I’m never sorry to hear this kind of singing. Bet it was a memorable day for the children too.
Loved this post. Thanks for sharing…
God bless America's New Order Amish!
This was very encouraging and I forwarded it to all my friends.
Lets all forward this moving video & message to everyone we know!
Note the Christian deamoner of the House Chairman!
GOD BLESS AMERICA… Thanks Erik for this Good News!
I asked my son, Mark, if he is in this directory. He said that this is the Holmes County Amish Directory. New Order and Old Order. Mark said that he is in the separate New Order Amish Directory which includes all of the New Order Amish communities that are not located in Holmes County such as Belle Center, Ohio.
Since we have some new readers who might not know the back story, I’ll go ahead and share my post on one of my visits to Mark (and you Don) at Belle Center.
I know they were at 3 districts but I think are up to 4 now, is that right Don? Also Belle Center I believe is the largest or at least one of the largest New Order settlements outside of Holmes County.
Belle Center's Amish Community
Hi Erik. Well, I guess I never thought about it. But, then again, I don’t really know too much about the other New Order Amish Communities that are around. Mark does. But, I don’t. I guess Belle Center might be on of the largest outside of Holmes County. Yes, it does now have four districts. The West District split into West and South Districts. So, now Belle Center has East District, Middle District (that’s Mark’s district), West District, and South District.
Mark told me that this evening he’ll be going to a Men’s Practice Singing at one of the homes. Any men or youth boys interested can come and practice singing the old German hymns in the slow style.
This was a really nice video.. I enjoyed it.