This is one of the few negative stories I’ve seen so far, concerning relations between English and Amish people during the ongoing coronavirus situation.

branch county michigan amish farmNon-Amish neighbors have complained after an Amish household held a large wedding yesterday in a southern Michigan community.

This happened in California Township in Branch County. As you’d expect for an Amish wedding, hundreds of people attended:

CALIFORNIA TOWNSHIP, MI (WTVB) – An Amish wedding held Thursday but planned before the COVID-19 outbreak in Branch County’s California Township has raised the ire and concern of other residents in the area.

According to Branch County Sheriff John Pollack, his department was alerted about the wedding Tuesday, and he contacted the families involved, as well as the Bishop. Pollack says because of a lack of technology, the families didn’t have an effective way of notifying invited guests to tell them to stay away.

The wedding was held on property on Hamman Road in southeast Branch County. Upset neighbors say several hundred Amish ended up attending the wedding Thursday afternoon after all.

This is a very plain Swiss Amish settlement of about 8 church districts.

Authorities met with a bishop (described in the article as “the Bishop,” though there is certainly more than one bishop here) and he agreed to shut down marriages in his community until the pandemic is over:

The Sheriff says when he met with the Bishop and the families Thursday morning, they were very cooperative and agreed to limit the event to just their immediate property and to try to limit the number of guests.

Pollack says the Bishop agreed to put a hold on all future weddings in his Amish community until after the coronavirus pandemic passes.

So if this lasts several months – or longer as some suggest – does that mean would-be Amish newlyweds will just have to wait til autumn – or even next year?

I could see that agreement being given – if someone expected things to last just a few more weeks. But at some point people in this Amish community will need to tie the knot.

It could be that this bishop’s view – and that of others – changes if this situation lasts into the summer and beyond. Hopefully, that won’t be the case.


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