Family Life, The Budget, and Raber’s Bookstore- addresses and ordering info

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

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.

family life amish mennonite magazine
Amish-produced Family Life magazine promotes Plain Christian values

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:

Pathway Publishers

Route 4

Aylmer, Ontario

N5H 2R3

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 Budget

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:

The Budget

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

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:

Raber’s Bookstore

2467 County Road 600

Baltic, OH 43804

Write to request a full catalog.  The catalog includes these instructions:

rabers bookstore

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).

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    1. Mike

      I have at least two Amish relatives that run successful publications.

      My aunt compiles a magazine called Ladies Journal and has 2,000 subscribers and growing. She accepts contributions from non-Amish writers. Believe it or not there is a Facebook page for the magazine. She accepts credit card payments via a credit card terminal that is powered by a solar panel on the roof of her house. 🙂

      My cousin’s husband is the publisher of Plain Communities Business Exchange, a business-oriented newspaper that has around 6,000 subscribers.

      1. Heinrich Schmitt


        Wie kann ich die Deutsche Druckschrift bekommen?

        1. WiedertauferMuesse

          Hallo, Schreiben Sie Raber’s Bookstore in Charm, Ohio. MfG, WiedertauferMuesse

      2. Donna Heaney

        Ladies Journal


        I would like to get a subscription to the Ladies Journal. Can someone put me in touch with the lady who publishes it?

        Thank you,

    2. Mike, thanks for reminding me about Plain Communities Business Exchange, should have added it to the list. Great publication.

      Had not heard of Ladies Journal, but just checked out Facebook. Nice! Very “non-Amish” cover logo 😉

    3. Ann Whitaker

      Hello Erik on this Labor Day. Do you also know about the magazine “Keepers at Home”? I have subscribed for a couple of years.
      Here’s info:

      Keepers at Home
      2673 Township Road 421
      Sugarcreek, OH 44681

      Best to you, Erik. 🙂

    4. Hey Ann, hope you are not laboring too much today yourself!

      Thank you for posting the info for Keepers at Home. I am familiar with it and know that it is popular in some Amish households but haven’t had a chance to read it much myself.

      For that matter if anyone else has subscriber/contact info for any publication I’ve missed here, please post!

    5. George

      Five years ago I subscibed to the Budget. I expected more information about the Amish Community, but was disappointed.
      I am an ‘Outsider’ but respect the Amish life style and am very interested in the Amish.

      At times I wished I lived next to them.

      I did buy some DVDs about the Amish which was very informative.

      I also purchased some Amish photos from Bill Coleman.

      I am always interested in photos of the Amish, especially children.

      If any of you you have some additional information about the Amish let me know.

    6. Books and resources on the Amish

      The Budget is not really a guide to the Amish but rather a communication tool used by Amish. It allows them (and other Plain People) to exchange information and follow events occurring in other communities.

      So maybe that is why you found it lacking George. It’s a bit like tapping into a wide conversation, where the main topics are local events, the weather, etc.

      For more info on Amish culture, religion, and society, there are a lot of great books out there. Here’s a short list:

      Or have a look through this website, particularly the Amish Online Encyclopedia, which currently has 75 articles on Amish life:

    7. Erik

      Erik, you would have the address to die Botschaft?

    8. Terry Berger

      Don’t forget Die Botschaft
      420 Weaver Road
      Millersburg, PA 17061

      Editor: Elam Lapp

      Phone: 717.433.4417

    9. Erik, looks like Terry stepped up here! Thanks Terry 😉

      there are some others I might add here when I can dig the addresses up: Plain Interests, the Fishwrapper, and there is another interesting one out of Indiana I read while in PA recently: The Connection. Features Amish columnists from different communities in KY, IN, PA

    10. Heidi Muell

      I am a German woman of 46 years and would like to get a contact to an Amish woman who would like to write letters to me and whom I can write to?
      My address is
      Heidi Muell
      Ziegelfeld 22a
      D – 85419 Mauern
      Thank you very much! I see forward to a letter!

      1. Bonnie Ann Miller-DeMasi

        Seeking Pen Pal

        I am a 48 year old married woman. I have two daughters. I am seeking an Amish Female Pen Pal.

        Bonnie Ann Miller-DeMasi
        1527 Caroline Street
        Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania 15065

        I hope it is God’s will to make a long distance friend!

    11. La vonne De Bois - Amish Heartland tours

      Often with my group tours of Holmes county, I take them to “The Budget” in Sugarcreek. In a way, it is like “facebook” in print. I especially draw attention to Page 19. There is a section called, “Shower Section.” It highlights the special needs of the Amish in reference to medical and financial hardships. Example ~ “Let’s have a thinking of you and money shower for Dan Miller. He had an accident at work and will be out of work for 8 weeks. God loves a cheerful giver.
      Then if follows with who submitted the request and gives the recipients address.

    12. Karen

      Since I just happened to stumble across this I’ll give you info for The Fishwrapper.
      234 East Rosebud Road
      Myerstown, PA 17067
      (717) 933-8091
      (717) 933-8017 fax

      Also be sure to check out our new book release – “Grand Ole Fishwrapper Stories – Volume 1” This is some of the best stories from 1999-2003.

    13. Clint Tabor

      Hello Erik,

      I have a farm for sale in Ky that I would like to advertise to the Amish, what would be the best way, newspaper if so which one?

    14. Hi Clint, the Budget is one of the most widely read papers and may be a good bet. If no Amish live in your area already, it may be a challenge to sell to Amish, unless there is other land available where other families could settle as well and create a church.

    15. Clint Tabor

      Erik, thanks for the info, I did put an ad in the Budget sometime ago but wasnt sure if that was the best place, and yes their is plenty of room here thousands of acres for sale including mine, some of the closest families are 15 miles from here. Please feel free to pass this info on to anyone looking for land I can be reached at my e-mail and I will check this fourm.

      Thanks, Clint Tabor

    16. Marilyn

      I just happen to have my Plain Interests here. Subscription costs $16.00 a year in the U.S. or $25.00 a year in Canada. Their address is:
      Plain Interests
      420 Weaver Road
      Millersburg, Pa.17061
      They do not accept credit cards-a check or money order is what they take. I just noticed my subscription expired so I better send them in a check.

      1. Jean Alicea

        Subscription Rate Update

        Would you happen to know what the present subscription rate be.
        I’m new this group. Just found it tonight.
        Thank you for your time.
        God bless your endeavors.

    17. Aletha

      I would like to become pen-pals with others who enjoy learning about the Amish. I have a great respect for the Amish and Mennonite’s. If anyone would be interested in becoming pen-pals please write me at Aletha Lee 1909 Heckle St Augusta Ga 30904.

      1. Jean Alicea

        Pen Pals

        Not sure if you still want a pen pal.
        I would be interested.
        I just found this group tonight.
        Thank you for your time.
        God bless your endeavors.

    18. Mona

      I also subscribe to the LADIES JOURNAL and it is a nice magazine….lots of reading it it.

      May subscribe to the Florida paper or buy the book, can someone tell me a little about both?

      I think the Budget is a bit too expensive… there a way to get a complimentary copy, before subscribing…That’s why I subscribe to the Ladies Journal….I called and asked if I could get one and they sent me one…… then I subscribed…..

      And does anyone know anything about “The Fishwrapper” paper ? Very interesting name !!!

      1. Dee Wilson

        Ladies Journal

        Do you have more information about the Ladies Journal? I could not find it on Facebook, and I also couldn’t find an address. Thanks!

        1. Ladies Journal Amish magazine subscriber info

          Dee here is subscription info taken from the most recent copy of Ladies Journal I have (July/August 2012):

          1 year: $30, 2 years: $56. (Published 6 times per year).
          Canada and Foreign: 1 year: $42. 2 years $78 (US funds).
          Credit cards accepted. Make checks payable to Ladies Journal.


          Ladies Journal
          P.O. Box 138
          Loysville, PA 17047

          Phone: 717-789-3288

          1. Maria Andersson

            About ladies Journal

            I am fr.o.m. Sweden and very interested in all amish. Since I was brought up in a baptist home I am interested in our history, which is the same. Since I now saw that a LOT of the plain reda ladies journal I got very curious. Is it polisbilen to get one number sent to me, of course I pay for it?

            Thanx for a useful site
            Maria, Sweden

            1. Maria I’m sure you’d be welcome to subscribe. But if you only want one issue, call the number above to see if that can be arranged.

              I don’t know if they only do single issue orders, but you can see there is a foreign subscribe option. The lady who runs the magazine is very nice.

    19. Kelly

      Thanks for the info. The Plain folk are so very honest when it comes to business. It was a pleasure to run upon your site.

    20. Paramesh Goswami

      I’m Indian. I shall visit the US from 5th April to 30th June this year. I want to live in an amish community for some time. Kindly arrange to provide me information so that my dream is fulfilled!

    21. Suan Zimmerman

      Family Life

      Is there any way I can get just 1 issue of Family Life to try before I subscribe?

      Thanks, Susan

    22. Request for direction w/ad placement

      We have an immediate opening for a ranch hand/wrangler position on our ranch that we would like to offer to the Montana Amish Communities. We are searching for a specific contact to the Montana Community, or a means to place our ad for this position before them. Please advise? Thank you.

      1. Finding Amish ranch help in Montana

        Sharron, as for this venue, you might leave a similar notice on one of the Montana Amish pages–I don’t know that many Amish would see it but perhaps someone else who knows Amish in Montana might:

    23. Janine Vogel


      Am I able to subscribe to some Amish magazines if I love in Australia if so how do I do this please? Would there be any Amish women that would like to be pen pals with an Australian women that’s approx 39 years of age?

      1. International shipping of Amish publications

        Janine your best bet might be to give, say, the Budget a ring to see about international rates (330)852-4634. I know some, probably most of these mail issues to Canada, but not sure about further afield.

        Another good Amish magazine I’d recommend is The Connection, out of Indiana. Their contact info is:

        Phone: (260) 593-3999 * Toll Free: (888) 333-2119 * Fax: (260) 356-2874

        and you’ll find more about them at these links:

    24. Kim Trivett

      Thank You

      I wanted to say thank you for providing this website it is very helpful. And I would also like to say that me and my family visit Berlin, Ohio and surrounding areas atleast 3 times a year. It is my favorite place to get a way and relax the atmosphere is just so peaceful there and when we visit I just feel so relaxed and peaceful and can forget about my problems for awhile. Also when I visit I never want to leave. God Bless.

    25. stephanie

      I am not sure how to say this so I suppose I will just say it. I am not sure those publications (especially family life and Keepers at home) are mwant for nonplain or non like minded people. I am not sure it is a good idea to put them on here. Sometimes people love the “charm” of plain life but the way we dicipline our children is different, the advice given about how wives should relate to husbands is different. The way we go about giving birth to babies is different. I get those publications and have for years. I appreciate their advice but a pperson who is not like minded is likely to absolutely throw a fit about Biblical submission or spanking of children or children giving their wages to their parents when it has been a part of this community for years. I can just see these publications getting into the wrong person’s hands and causing a huge huff.

      1. Stephanie I appreciate your concern but I don’t think there is any need to try to “hide” these publications, nor could we if we wanted (info is online elsewhere). People who are like-minded are the ones who will order these, and they’ll get good upbuilding resources for their homes. Those that aren’t simply won’t “get” them, literally and figuratively.

        What I’ve noticed is that people can get in a huff about nearly anything nowadays, and let them if they want…though I don’t think there is anything objectionable here–just ideas that have been around a long time and content coming from those of a traditional Christian mindset.

    26. stephanie

      I totally agree Eric. Most people who will order these would be like minded. I certainly do not want to hide these publications as some of them have been a great help to me. I guess I was speaking og those few who want to “glimpse into the lives of the Amish” by buying these. When they see things like birthing questions or natural remedies for children or advice to spand they *do* get in a huff. I had one lady (upon receiving Family life) tell me she thought Anabaptists were nonresistant. Then why do we “beat” our children ugggh.

      1. I get what you mean Stephanie. Spanking is a controversial subject nowadays. This is probably a case where the Amish of today are in fact more aligned with the norms of a generation or two ago.

    27. Al in Ky

      2014 The Budget Update

      In the Feb. 12 edition of The Budget, the editor wrote a report on 2 about The Budget scribe (local writers) annual gathering at Pinecraft, Florida. Very interesting report which gave names of attendees from at least 14 states and several locations in Canada. The report also stated that there are now over 900 scribes, and average number of letters processed per week is 565. Seems like The Budget is doing fine!

    28. Donna


      Hello Erik!
      I have enjoyed reading these comments about Amish publications and appreciate you providing such a rich repository for such terrific plain published resources! Since the most recent comment is dated 2014, I was wondering if you could let us know that you are “still here” and doing well.
      Kansas City, Missouri

      1. Jean Alicea

        Like minded

        It is now 2023. Like you I would love to see updates on ALL the subscriptions. Especially the cost.
        Thank you Eric for all you do. God bless all your endeavors.