Mennonite/Anabaptist AP friendly? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-31-2009, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been doing a bit of researching on the Mennonite denomination and from what I've read the biggest difference between them and baptists (kind of where we came from) is the non-violence issue. Anabaptists are huge into pacifism. In war times and also in the home...ie no spanking! yea! So, if that is the only difference doctrinally, I'd LOVE to attend a Mennonite church. From what I've been reading the core values fit in right where I believe.

Any Mennonite mama's here? Have you found this to be the case? And also, I've been searching the web for congregations near me with no luck. We are in Orlando...any one know of a congregation close by? (I know that's a long shot!) The closest I've found is a community in Sarasota.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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anyone? Please?
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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I am a conservative mennonite convert... There are many types of mennonites out there but i am thinking you want a more liberal church (correct me if i am wrong) or are you looking at cape dress wearing conservatives? I have a list and you would be suprised how many churches there are...

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Old 05-31-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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I would say it really depends on individual churches, and on individual families.

I was just at a River Brethren meeting today. : I didn't see any babywearing. But I saw lots of mommies holding their babies pretty much the whole time. Lots of daddies too. Half the kids were sitting on the men's side, and there was even a "Men's nursery" marked out for dads who needed to take a kid out to feed or change. I remarked on this to my RB friend and she shrugged and said "Well, when you have so many kids, you need help, of course." The children were all very well behaved, but perfectly normal in terms of wiggling and that kind of thing through the 2.5 hour service. I did not see one single smack or even rough motion by any parents. I did not hear any yelling. I had to yell to get my kids to hear me. from the barn where they were playing, and immediately realized I should have walked over there and spoken to them quietly like everyone else.
The ladies nursery was all set up with rocking chairs for nursing, and nobody seemed the least bit perturbed when I sat down to nurse my massive 2 yo.

I was thinking as we were in the service that there was just a very different spirit there than anywhere else I've been. Quiet, calm, sweet. My kids are normally all over the place during church and I was terrified that we'd be marked out as completely out of control. But my kids seemed to sense the difference too, and sat very quietly. My highly active 2 yo was a completely different child in that service. There were even some of the "Plain" babies who were louder than him, and a few who had temper tantrums and had to be taken outside. The other nice thing about that church was that nobody glares at you when your kid cries. If you get looks at all, it's sympathetic smiles from mothers who have btdt.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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I've been doing a bit of researching on the Mennonite denomination and from what I've read the biggest difference between them and baptists (kind of where we came from) is the non-violence issue. Anabaptists are huge into pacifism. In war times and also in the home...ie no spanking! yea! So, if that is the only difference doctrinally, I'd LOVE to attend a Mennonite church. From what I've been reading the core values fit in right where I believe.

Any Mennonite mama's here? Have you found this to be the case? And also, I've been searching the web for congregations near me with no luck. We are in Orlando...any one know of a congregation close by? (I know that's a long shot!) The closest I've found is a community in Sarasota.
I will get back with you in a bit.
I had a link to a man that has the complete list of Anabaptist churches in the US, and offers to find the closest church to those that are searching.
Be back later.

ETA: I found it right away!
http://www.anabaptistbooks.com/ Mark Roth runs this site. He can assist you in finding a fellowship. His wife is a proffesional cape dress maker, in case you were thinking that direction.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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Yes! My church is completely devoted to peace and justice in every part of life, starting at home. Violence is not OK for anyone and that includes spanking. We also strive to include children in as many aspects of congregational life as possible.

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Old 06-01-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Yes! My church is completely devoted to peace and justice in every part of life, starting at home. Violence is not OK for anyone and that includes spanking. We also strive to include children in as many aspects of congregational life as possible.
Do you know of any books that are written by Mennonites, that deal with parenting in this manner?
We are leaning towards the grace based and AP way, but it would be awsome to read something from a truly conservative background.
Dh and I just read through this site.
It will be what we refer our families and friends to when it comes time, Lord willing.
But a smal book would be even bettter.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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My Mennonite congregation is very AP friendly. I am in a medium-sized city and we have a wonderful mix of people whose families have been Mennonite for generations and people new to the denomination (like me). One thing that has surprised me is that so much of the encouragement I've received for things like breastfeeding during services (discreetly, of course!) has come from elderly women.

It has also happened on more than one occasion that my energetic boys had been doing something, well, energetic, and I noticed an older person--a person established in the church and well respected-- eyeing them. My automatic response was to hurry over and admonish the children for being too wild, because I assumed the obsevers disapproved. Every time, I have been proved wrong. The older lady or gentleman was always enjoying watching the children and would gently affirm my children's spirit and/or curiosity.

In general, when I'm around churchy people, I feel quite permissive compared to others. In my own church, I feel like one of the stricter moms. And I have to say, we have great kids in our church! The little one can be a handful, but by the time they are preteens, they have blossomed into amazing people that are just a joy to be around! And a very large percentage of our youth go on to Christian (ususally Mennonite) colleges.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:39 AM
 
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Do you know of any books that are written by Mennonites, that deal with parenting in this manner?
We are leaning towards the grace based and AP way, but it would be awsome to read something from a truly conservative background.
Dh and I just read through this site.
It will be what we refer our families and friends to when it comes time, Lord willing.
But a small book would be even bettter.
I think I may have partially answered my own question. It looks like amongst the conservative and old order, spanking is the norm.
So, am I correct in assuming that AP minded ones, would be non conservatives for the most part?

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Anabaptists are huge into pacifism. In war times and also in the home...ie no spanking! yea!
This made me laugh. I was raised in a Mennonite home/church/community, where pacifism was preached, but I was routinely spanked with a belt. Most children I knew were spanked. That was part of teaching submission, I guess. Spare the rod, spoil the child.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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This made me laugh. I was raised in a Mennonite home/church/community, where pacifism was preached, but I was routinely spanked with a belt. Most children I knew were spanked. That was part of teaching submission, I guess. Spare the rod, spoil the child.
Yes, I went back and thought about everything I have studied about Anabaptists, and I would venture to say, it is the modern, what are referred to as "short hair, pants wearing Mennonites" that tend to be much more AP minded.
I know amongst the Amish, the belt is not spared. In fact, it is often used frequently.

If a believer cannot go to the original translation, and also read the scriptures as a whole, rather then relying on mans interpretation and teaching/doctrine, then how can they truly know that what they practice or believe, is truth?

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Old 06-01-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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Yes, I went back and thought about everything I have studied about Anabaptists, and I would venture to say, it is the modern, what are referred to as "short hair, pants wearing Mennonites" that tend to be much more AP minded.
I know amongst the Amish, the belt is not spared. In fact, it is often used frequently.
That makes sense, PaulaJoAnne, because many in our community (including my paternal grandparents) were raised Amish and converted to Mennonite--so they were definitely on the conservative end of the Mennonite spectrum. Attitudes have changed a lot since I was little. My dad even apologized to me some years back and asked my forgiveness for all the times he spanked me.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of the replies! I WAS a bit confused...I went to a HS conference recently, and all of the Mennonite curriculum booths were the ones with spanking propaganda...so I was a bit.

I don't understand saying you believe in nonviolence and then hitting/smacking/switching a child. It makes no sense. I am definitely more looking for a liberal minded church. I wouldn't mind wearing the covering/long skirts, but I would not want to be in a church where is was a legalistic issue...
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would also like to read a parenting book...from a conservative POV. The only ones that I know of are written more recently, and sometimes I think other punitive parents would take me more seriously if I had something from a more conservative POV to defend nonviolence.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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I would also like to read a parenting book...from a conservative POV. The only ones that I know of are written more recently, and sometimes I think other punitive parents would take me more seriously if I had something from a more conservative POV to defend nonviolence.
Honestly, if you want the true ancient and "traditional" authority, all you need to do is go over Proverbs 23:11-16 from the original translation.
The Hebrew words for child, youth, infant, and young adult are all different, but were morphed together in various ways, and hence lost in translation.
All you need is a good side by side translation, and if thats not good enough, then I feel sorry for those that would discredit the Word of God.
I am just beginning to probe this topic on my blog.
I will only use the Bible to back me up, because bunny trails with other authors/books will get me know where with my scholarly parents and in-laws.

There is a blog I read, written by an Orthodox Jewish woman, and I am thinking about asking her if they have any good recs on this topic, for later on, when the topic is well under way.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I have read about that...I'll definitely go and have a look at your blog as well! What would be a good side by side translation? A Hebrew/english bible? Any recs?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooooh! Now you have me on edge! Can't wait to read your next blog post!
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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It looks like amongst the conservative and old order, spanking is the norm.
So, am I correct in assuming that AP minded ones, would be non conservatives for the most part?
This is not the case.. i am a conservative mennonite and i am here

I know plenty of parents who do not spank... amish, mennonite and old order... broad generalizations are never good...

Seperated, Cape Dress Wearing, Covered, Conservative Mennonite Mama to big girl K.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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I think I may have partially answered my own question. It looks like amongst the conservative and old order, spanking is the norm.
So, am I correct in assuming that AP minded ones, would be non conservatives for the most part?
Well, I certainly don't have a broad view since I'm not a cradle Mennonite, but yes, my church is an urban, liberal community. Not only do we not wear cape dresses or cover our hair, but almost all of us go to service in jeans or shorts and t-shirts, and it's common practice to take off our shoes and worship barefoot. That's one of my favorite things about my church, but of course it wouldn't suit everyone. Try this site for some information about modern Mennonites.

My congregation takes non-violence very seriously. For instance, I would say that flipping off another driver in traffic is a violent act. We don't raise hands or weapons against another person, but we also recognize that words and deeds can be violent in ways that don't show on the body. That's a high standard to set, but by the grace of God, I'm mostly able to live that way, both inside and outside of my home. We also have large numbers of vegetarians and vegans and we're very active (as a community and also as individuals/families) in protecting the environment, and we all strive to be as frugal as we can so that we have more to share. It's all about treading lightly and sharing love instead of damage. So I guess you could say our definition of "violence" is pretty broad.

Oh, and it's pretty standard practice in my church for moms to nurse their babies past their 2nd birthday.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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Oooooh! Now you have me on edge! Can't wait to read your next blog post!
Hehe, no one is taking my bait! I added a few clues to see if it helps.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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This is not the case.. i am a conservative mennonite and i am here

I know plenty of parents who do not spank... amish, mennonite and old order... broad generalizations are never good...
Thats why I posed that as a question.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Well, the little blog study is going well....but like I was telling my aunt, who agrees with this, c##p is going to hit the fan when my father figures out what is going on.
Yes, I know, its the passive aggressive method, but he believes in spanking infants if needed, and has been trying to get me to agree with the Pearl's teachings lately.
Turns out, I think he feels vindicated by finding out that others actually teach the method that he has practiced. He never heard of them till last year.
The tag for the postings, in case you are looking at this in the future, is Proverbs 23.

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Old 06-23-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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