Thursday, 25 October 2012

Becoming 'Almost Amish' - my personal journey, part 1

Longer ago than I care to remember, I was a young wife and mother. Our first child was born in 1982 and we had already decided that any children we had would be home educated. That of course meant finding suitable curriculum materials and making sure what we taught was compatible with our way of life and our Christian faith.

It wasn't until around 1990 that I was introduced to another home schooling family that were using Rod and Staff curriculum - an American company that produced material for home educators and small parochial schools, with a solid Christian base. On receiving their catalogue, I discovered they also produced tracts, doctrinal books, family helps and a whole lot more. I also discovered that they were Mennonite.

That reminded me of a book I had read when we were first married, called Rich Christians in and Age of Hunger, by Ronald Sider. That too had been connected to Mennonites. It taught that we as individuals all had a part to play in reducing world poverty. Saying 'what use is doing my little bit?' simply perpetuated the problem. The philiosophy resonated with me and I had tried in vain to discover more about the Mennonites. With no internet and no-one nearby who knew anything about Mennonites, I eventually forgot about them - until the Rod and Staff catalogue arrived, that is. Now was a renewed chance to find out more about these people who combined their Christian faith with a strong sense of social responsibility.

Without further ado, I ordered a complete set of their tracts and booklets, thinking that here I would discover directly from these Mennonites what it was they believed and how their faith was lived out in their everyday lives.

Note: Rod and Staff books are available in the UK from:
Shepherd Hills Retail 3,
Station Court,
Craven Arms,

Phone/Fax: 01588 661117

If you pay them a visit in person, they also produce hardwood furniture and have a tea room where you can buy homemade tea and cakes.

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