Belle Center, Ohio is a sprawling New Order Amish settlement about an hour north of Dayton. A friend, who is a convert, lives in that community. It's a gorgeous area in the spring and summer, with colorful riots of wildflowers, rolling hills, and buggies clattering down the road. I need to make it back there soon as it is one of my favorite plain communities. The New Order Amish are really not, as the name implies, a liberal splinter group of the Old Order. They travel by horse and buggy and worship in their homes like their Old Order brethren. I've found the New Order to, in some ways, be more conservative than the Old Order, or at least more doctrinal. In other words, many (not all) Old Order Amish do things because that's just the way they've always heard it should be (those the lyrics from an old Carly Simon song:). The New Order Amish seem to be able to back-up their actions with theological underpinnings. They do embrace some technologies more. My friend has visited Central America and Europe and he has flown to get there, something Old Order generally avoid. The Belle Center church in Ohio is closely affiliated with the New Order Amish church in St. Ignatius, Montana. Church members there will travel by air to visit family and conduct business out east. Site visitor Diann took these photos for me on one of her visits. This is one of the Amish schools outside of Belle Center. I've been in this school and, like the exterior, it's a bit fancier than some of the Old Order schools but still very much back to basics.
It looks so peaceful. That's sort of what looks like where we live. We have Amish around where we live.