Plain publications help Amish maintain ties and promote Old Order Christian values
Amish produce a number of newspapers, books, and other publications. Following is ordering information for three Amish resources:
- Family Life-a general-interest magazine from Pathway Publishers in Ontario
- The Budget-Sugarcreek, Ohio newspaper which covers both local news, and produces a “national edition” with letters from Amish scribes
- Raber’s Bookstore-an Ohio Amish-owned bookstore that carries a wide variety of Bibles, songbooks, educational books, and Amish publications
Family Life is a magazine published by Pathway Publishers of Aylmer, Ontario. Family Life features stories that teach morals, pieces on Amish history, articles discussing faith issues and challenges to living a Christian life, parenting, medical advice, as well as uplifting poems and drawings.
Family Life’s editors produce much of the content, but also publish a large number of reader contributions. Letters from readers and notes from the editor are included as well.
Readership is Amish and Mennonite, and also includes readers from outside Plain circles. Subscriber totals exceed 30,000. Family Life has a plain appearance, and is printed in black-and-white. The cover features a hand-drawn illustration, as well as that issue’s table of contents.
Along with Family Life, Pathway publishes 2 companion publications, Young Companion and Blackboard Bulletin.
Young Companion is addressed to Amish youth and examines issues of relevance to adolescents. Pieces in Young Companion often taking the form of fictional pieces that teach moral lessons, or advice stories from older adults.
Blackboard Bulletin is a teacher’s publication and focuses on education. It is widely-read by teachers of Amish parochial schools.
Since Pathway offers a package subscription deal, many Amish families receive all three.
Family Life, Young Companion, and Blackboard Bulletin can all be ordered from Pathway at this address:
Price for Family Life is $11 per year for 11 issues (August-September is a double issue; price current as of November 2014). A year’s subscription to all three magazines can be had for the discounted price of $21.
Be sure to provide sufficient postage as this is a Canadian address. Canadian subscribers should include 5% tax and can pay in Canadian funds (US subscribers must pay in US funds). It costs $1.15 to mail a 1-2 ounce letter from the US to Canada.
The Sugarcreek, Ohio Budget has been published since 1890. The Budget comes in two editions: the Local Edition, and the National Edition. The National Edition has as its motto “Serving the Amish-Mennonite Communities Throughout the Americas”.
The National Edition consists primarily of letters from mostly Amish and Mennonite “scribes”, who write in to report on local happenings. Topics covered by scribes include births, deaths, weddings, visitors, the weather, the state of crops, and so on.
The Local Edition consists of the National Edition, along with additional coverage of area news.
Subscription requests should be sent to:
P.O. Box 249
Sugarcreek, OH 44681
The Budget phone number is (330)852-4634, and the fax is (330) 852-4421. Once placing your order, it takes 2-3 weeks to receive the first issue.
Current (2010) subscription rates for the National Edition are as follows:
6 months $30.00
1 year $42.00
2 years $77.00
Rates for the Local Edition:
Local Edition (OH subscribers)
6 months $30.00
1 year $42.00
2 years $77.00
Local Edition (outside OH)
6 months $32.00
1 year $48.00
2 years $89.00
Individuals wishing to try a sample issue of The Budget can do so by sending $4 to the above address.
Raber’s Bookstore, located in Holmes County, sells a wide variety of Bibles, German language books, Bible stories, Christian and inspirational books, books written by and about the Amish, and hymnals.
The 2010 catalog, for example, includes Egermeier’s Bible Stories ($17.95), the Ausbund songbook ($7.50 for the standard version; $22 for “Ausbund Translation”), and McGuffey Readers ($9.95-12.95 per volume, or $77. 65 for the set of 7). You can get a Martyrs Mirror for $40, or the book Sunshine and Shadow, an account of an Amish attempt to settle in Honduras in the 1970s, for $9.50.
Raber’s sells by mail order. The mailing address for Raber’s is:
2467 County Road 600
Baltic, OH 43804
Write to request a full catalog. The catalog includes these instructions:
Following is a list of current prices on our books. Prices are subject to change at any time. Please feel free to place order and pay upon receipt of invoice. Please be sure to include your name, address, account number and phone number with your order. We ship our books media mail which is “Slow” mail. We will gladly ship priority mail (at additional cost) which then you would have your order in approx. 2-5 days. If your order is for your church or school please mark it on the order form to receive a 10% discount. Aden and Mary Raber
If you’re in the area, you can also drop in to the bookstore at the above address. When I last visited Raber’s Bookstore in April, Aden and Mary were in the process of expanding to a new facility, much larger than the current store, which is/was housed in a converted milk house. The new building is located at the same location, but will have much more floor space.
Other Amish publications and bookstores
There are a number of other newspapers and publications produced and read by Amish and Mennonites. These include Die Botschaft, Die Blatt, The Diary, Plain Interests, The Fishwrapper, The Pinecraft Pauper, and others.
Other Amish bookstores and publishers include Gordonville Bookstore and Print Shop in Lancaster County, PA (275 Old Leacock Rd. Gordonville, PA 17529), as well as Pathway Bookstore, a branch of Pathway Publishers, in Lagrange County, Indiana (2580N 250W LaGrange, Indiana 46761).