Image Gallery: holdeman mennonites
They came to worship and discuss matters of doctrine and practice in sessions open to both ministry and laity. Principles of Faith , 3rd edition The next official fundraiser is a dinner to be held at the church Saturday. Interestingly, she makes hand-worked buttonholes for the buttons as many as twelve per dress that require weeks to complete. Today, though, it can be quite elaborate; feather motifs in the stitching are most common. Over the course of a few weeks, Liechty dreamed of a way to help carry the burden for the mother and her daughters. They also refer to themselves in a more general sense as Mennonites.
They are respected in the communities where they reside for their care and concern, willingness to help, reliability in work and ethical ways. They are regarded as a people who continue to take their Christian doctrines and responsibilities very seriously.
See also their official website at www. Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Today salvation has come to this house, because Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life, he was lost and has been found.
And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day? Due to the high water, we are cancelling the Warm Winter Wednesday meal and activity for tonight, Feb We will try to reschedule our speaker for next month.
Stay safe out there. Lots of high water around Wakarusa. CR 1 north of the church is closed, as well as CR 38 between 1 and 3. Be safe out there people! It's cold outside but the fellowship will be warm around the breakfast tables, as well as the coffee.
End the year well! Another great way to spread Christmas cheer! Besides singing loud for all to hear: Here's an exciting way to say "Yes" to God and change lives! It is that time again! Enjoy an extra hour of sleep on Saturday, then come for our Bountiful Breakfast, from am. Donations help pay-down our Building mortgage, and you get a hearty breakfast.
One last update on our Haystacks for Hurricanes meal last week. Praise the Lord and thanks to everyone who contributed, served, donated food, parked cars, or helped in any other way. Come hungry to the "Haystacks for Hurricanes"! We're ready for a crowd. I also interviewed seventy-five percent of the local expelled members.
Having survived the expulsion process, these people were acutely aware of the power of social control in Mennonite society. Expulsion was the most severe form of control used by the Holdemans to insure conformity to their social norms.
Sociologically, it does more than this. Dress and, by extension, the body, are the sites where different symbolic and gendered meanings are constructed and contested; such symbols arise from pressure to create consonance between physiological and social experiences. While compliance with group norms or personal control is required for all Holdeman Mennonites, for women of the community, constraints involve both formal and informal controls on almost every facet of life.
If there is no specific rule, then usually a custom dictates the correct procedure for any activity. Diversity in any manner is frowned on.
Following tradition is the rule, a requirement which leads to homogeneity in the community. Nevertheless, the women experience a measure of ambivalence. They find comfort in sameness but yearn for variety, especially in clothing and quilting. Although Holdeman Mennonites as a group feel threatened by the outside world, women in addition feel threatened by the men of the community. In this conflict men exercise control, with ministers having the most power. Women, however, walk a fine line between obedience to the norms and self-assertion when they react to the control exercised by men.
Plagued by anxiety, women maneuver in a subtle manner. Through deviance from the norms, they attempt to change the details of their traditional dress. In doing so they confront the established image and carefully fashion an alternative to it, resisting what appear to be overwhelming constraints. Subtle changes in dress, then, function symbolically to establish solidarity among women and to circumvent patriarchal control. In the years before marriage, young women bend the dress code, and their mothers look the other way.
Because women know the meanings involved in dress and do not blindly conform to the code, they become skilled practitioners at bending constraints through nuanced alterations. From this perspective, neither social control nor collective resistance is clear-cut. These issues are negotiated in everyday interaction in even the most tightly controlled communities.
Since resistance to change is characteristic of Holdeman culture, the changes that do occur are minute. Since strict conformity is equated with religiosity, compliance to strict codes of behavior is demanded. If the symbol of clothing is interpreted negatively, she is defined as deviant and subjected to formal and informal constraints. Women and their dress are controlled not only by the men but by the community at large.
The codification of non-conformist practices among many American Mennonite groups began in the late nineteenth century, and because clothing was considered symbolic of acquiescence to authority, rigid dress codes resulted in several churches. Holdeman interpreted this practice as symbolizing the loss of distinctiveness. Following his break from the larger body of Mennonites, he insisted his followers wear clothing that indicated their conservatism and separation from the world.
He prescribed a dress code for women, characterized by a long dress with a high neck, loose bodice, and fitted waist. Jewelry, cosmetics, and the cutting and styling of hair were prohibited. While for Holdeman men clothing has changed with the times, for women the overall dress and adornment practices have stayed rather consistent with nineteenth-century practices.
Women wear shirtwaist dresses, typified by a wide, long skirt and a fitted bodice with buttons down the center to the waist. There is generally a small collar and belt. Holdeman men, by contrast, cannot be easily differentiated from other non-Mennonite farmers by their appearance.
There are no specific dress requirements for men, other than the expectation that they dress plainly. Connell notes, patriarchal societies perpetuate inequality by creating social categories in which a focus on the body becomes central to the ideological construction of differences between men and women.
While the Holdemans state that clothing, like all of life, has to be brought under the scrutiny of New Testament standards, in reality only women face that scrutiny. The Holdeman social body controls the expression of identity through rigid norms for dress and behavior. Those who stray from the social norms are considered deviants and castigated through both internal and external social control.
While behavior in general is scrutinized, external forms of self-expression are most closely monitored. Because appearance is considered the external manifestation of inner attitudes, visual cues are analyzed for signs of non-conformity.
We could all see it in her dress and her behavior — she was just out of control. At issue is conformity to social norms rationalized by religious dogma. What the Holdemans regard as signs of religiosity are, from the perspective of this work, signs of socio-religious conformity. Intra-group relations involve a hierarchy that evaluates conformity, religiosity, social embeddedness involvement , and ultimately, the assignment of status.
At the top of this stratified system are orthodox members who conform to the norms, are thoroughly enculturated, and are thought highly religious.
Lower status is accorded to members who deviate from many of the social norms and are therefore considered less religious. These marginal members are often young women who have not sufficiently repressed their sexuality.
As they learn to control and repress it, they become more enculturated, and there is a corresponding decrease in external constraints imposed by the group. Cultural attempts to control the body and its urges only makes them more powerful and more in need of control. Occasionally, older women are allowed to minister, but they are very aware of the need to control their dress.
Girls may choose from a variety of dress styles until puberty, when a transition occurs to the one style available to adult women. This is to control sexuality. Girls start using clothing for sexual display at the same time ministers are overtly repressing sexuality.
As they sew their dresses, girls use numerous design details to call attention to the body; more overtly, they adjust the garment fit. Depending on how closely the dress hugs the body, it can either conceal or reveal female contours.
While older, orthodox women will wear the dress fitted loosely and wear girdles to control movement, young women do the opposite. They abide by the overall dress code but use the fit of the garment to show off their sexuality during the brief time available about three years to find a husband. Young women design dresses with additional details to draw attention to the bodice. A young expelled woman stated:. You want to be married at eighteen. One time a Mormon guy asked me why the Mennonite girls make dresses with four lines pointing at the breasts.
Well, the darts really do call attention to the bust! Besides, pregnancy usually comes right away. Your best friends will warn you to dress more modestly, and ministers will attack you and look for signs of sin.
When friends and ministers speak with her about her inability to repress her sexuality, informal social control measures are thereby enacted. Because rigid conformity is the norm for the Holdemans, it does not take much to be labeled deviant. Ministers continually watch marginal members for behaviors that can be so interpreted. This results in an unequal enforcement of the rules.
Jane was orthodox, but her sister was considered marginal. The sister recalled a visit from the ministers in which she was criticized for many things, including the dress she was wearing and had borrowed from her orthodox sibling.
I was the only one who was. And it was because they saw me as a threat. The ministers always kept their eyes on me. Female sexuality is threatening to individual men who may feel out of control themselves; it threatens the patriarchy, and as Bryan Turner noted, must therefore be controlled. The appearance of orthodox women clearly manifest personal control. As a role model she diets and dresses plainly, and wears dark, solid-colored dresses with no detail other than the required belts, collars, and buttons.
Interestingly, she makes hand-worked buttonholes for the buttons as many as twelve per dress that require weeks to complete. This use of old-fashioned behaviors as a means of asserting religiosity while simultaneously drawing attention to it is not uncommon among orthodox people, and can be a source of trouble if perceived as prideful behavior. Among the Holdemans, religious orthodoxy, lineage, and material wealth determine status.
As with the Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg, New York, 20 status in the community is reflected in ethno-religious clothing. In her heart, Mother despises arguments and confrontations. The plain clothing is her way of avoiding confrontations. Holdeman women are subjected to informal methods of social control, ranging from gossip to reproval.
Gossip is the most frequent variety of informal control. Women spend much time in the company of their friends, with other members of the community as the main topic of conversation.
When she breaks a norm, a woman knows the transgression will be noticed and become a current topic of conversation. If that is ineffective in redirecting her behavior, her best friends will talk to her directly and utter their concern about her spirituality as an expression of Christian love. There were no signs that she was in trouble — no changes in her behavior. Naturally, the expression of individuality in clothing cannot be ignored.
If your clothes are straight down the lines as to the rules of the group, then everyone can see that you are submitting your will to the church. This is why everyone watches what everyone else is wearing and how they are wearing it, because clothing shows acceptance of all the rules of the church. Status is determined by how much you believe in what the church is teaching, and how verbal you are in expressing that belief. Women are reproved by men for various infractions, particularly clothing.
Women prone to reproval are assertive, or from low-status families, and have not totally internalized the social norms.