Good Friday to one and all. Time for our weekly exploration of all things Amish or Mennonite in the world of video. That must mean it is YouTube Friday already! We have some interesting items this week, so let's get right to it.
I do place a lot of thought and care on a case-by-case basis of what videos I share. Sheesh, I viewed some really disrespectful ones this morning that I almost shared of what NOT to do when visiting the Amish. But the first video I am going to share gets close enough to that point so we'll just stick with it.
AMISH CHURCH IN IOWA? As a general rule, the Amish do not worship in church buildings. There are some exceptions and I've written about them on this site before, but you can count them on one hand. The Amish of Unity, Maine have a church building. As do the ones in Pinecraft, Florida and Oakland, Maryland. I think there's an Amish church in nearby Shanksville, PA that also has a church building. But to my knowledge, that's it. Unless this videographer is correct. Here is what the description of his YouTube video says: "A rare exception in Iowa. This Amish Church District holds their services in an unused schoolhouse. This video show the last hymn and the end of services. The men and women are seated separate during the service and exit through different doors."
Okay, first, I am not thrilled with this video. It seems a bit voyeuristic and I doubt he had permission to film (but we don't know that). The videographer does seem to have some basic knowledge of the church and he is saying this is Amish. Very unusual. I thought he might be mistaking the church for Old Order Mennonites (who do worship in church buildings) but there really is no way to tell. All the males in the video are unshaven, a hallmark of the OOM church, but the only males in the video appear to be teenagers, so they would be unshaven regardless. Does anyone know where this church is or anything about it? Click here to watch the video. I'm guessing the videographer is mistaken and this is an OOM church.
MORE MISTAKEN IDENTITY: A man posted a video of an "Amish church" outside of Orchard, Iowa (near Mason City). The footage showing the outside of the church is good, so you get a great view of the church. But I'm almost positive he is wrong and this is an OOM church. The exterior more resembles a German Baptist meetinghouse, but this clearly is a horse-and-buggy church and northern Iowa does have a population of OOM, my money is on that. Click here to watch.
MINNESOTA NICE: Not the world's most exciting video, but gives you a taste of the Amish in Minnesota's frozen north. This is a buggy leaving an equine center near Erskine. The Amish presence in northern Minnesota has been slowly but steadily increasing. Brrrr. Click here to watch!
NORTH COUNTRY BROWN: Very short - but very interesting - video clip of a brown buggie outside the Price Chopper and Dollar Tree in Massena, New York. The brown top buggies originate with a conservative Amish church in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. As the church has grown, they've moved to New York and I'm aware of a congregation around Cuba Lake. Massena is way up on the border with Canada. Click here to watch the video. I've seen still photos of the brown buggies, but a video clip is a bit more rare, so enjoy!