Friday, January 2, 2015

31 Days: Introduction

I grew up in a small Mennonite church in rural Arkansas, far from most other "main line" Mennonite churches. Our church was considered a bit different for several reasons: 1) It's small size. 2) It's interaction with the community. The church was started as a mission church so the intention was to reach out to the non-mennonites. I was shocked, as a youth, to realize how odd that interaction was to many other Beachy/Mennonites. 3) It's lack of a written standard. Our church had no written standard which was an unheard of phenomenom in the Beachy/Mennonite world!

I think it was the combination of these factors, plus my own "accepting" nature, that spared me many of the rules/clothes/regulations struggles my peers faced. I was brought up on the Plain/Conservative side of the church partly, probably, because I grew up as the Bishop's daughter. There were times when I resented that fact or wished to do things others were doing. To be honest though, for the most part I was rather pious about it all. I think I always felt a little glad that I was 'more godly' and accepted my lot as the 'good example' as a sort of badge of honor.

I grew up and married in this setting, and we lived there for the first 10 years of our marriage. Three and a half years ago we moved our little family across the country to Ohio and suddenly I was faced with a new experience in church life, convictions, position and personal beliefs!

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