By Kevin Williams
TECH BATTLE: Whoever thought quiet classrooms in bucolic Amish Country is where tech titans Google and Apple would be slugging it out? But a PBS report shows that to be the case. Increasingly, Amish children are being schooled in computer use. From my standpoint here is how I see it: in larger more progressive settlements like Holmes County, Ohio and northern Indiana, a new generation of Amish will grow up quite computer savvy. They'll use the items at work and perhaps in some ways at home. More conservative Amish elsewhere will continue to eschew such electronic amenities and will fall farther behind and feel increasingly theologically disconnected from their more tech-savvy cousins. This will contribute to the growing divide among the most conservative Amish and the more progressive. I've been saying for years that I do think that there could be a major, formal split in the Amish church in my lifetime over such issues and I continue to predict such a split. Click here for this interesting PBS report!
TRAGIC DEATH OF ADA MAE: This is a sad story of how an Amish family unwittingly became collateral damage in a complex tapestry of problems at the Veterans Administration. I read the story several times before sharing it because while it really isn't about the Amish per se, in the end, in does illustrate how two totally different creatures can clash if the orbits intersect at just such an inopportune moment. Click here to read.
MUD SALE SURVIVOR GUIDE: Mud sales are to spring and the Amish in Lancaster what Christmas trees are to December. You haven't been to Amish country in Lancaster County in the spring if you haven't been to a mud sale. These giant festival-auction-social gathering combinations can be a bit intimidating if you have never been, so the Lancaster newspaper published this handy primer.
EDITOR'S PICK - AMISH MOZART? This story is only tangentially about the Amish, but the photo alone is worth clicking this for. Moses Smucker is really a great guy, a great ambassador for the Amish. As a very visible vendor, he's more comfortable in the limelight than many Amish, but I also think he always exudes an air of confidence. He can "push the envelope" a bit but no one is ever going to accuse him of undermining his faith because he's such an advocate of it. Anyway, click here for a neat, neat photo!:)