Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Slice-of-Life Story Challenge | 31

I grew up Mennonite, which usually shrouds my identity in a certain level of confusion. 
          “Do your parents drive a buggy?”
                          “Did you have electricity growing up?”
                                                 “Were your clothes handmade?”

Because in the media Amish = Mennonite and vice versa, most people are sure my family looks like this:
But, the truth of matter is that Mennonite does not equal Amish.  My family looks just like your family.   We drive cars, have power and all the modern conveniences you do, wear jewelry, cut our hair, and buy the latest fashions. 
In considering the many aspects of Mennonite culture, there is something easily distinguishable that fits in perfectly for us today, March 31.  I can tell you about it in three numbers: 606.
‘606’ is what Mennonites refer to as our version of the hymn, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”  (It’s actually the song’s page number in the old brown hymnal.)  It’s been regarded as the most Mennonite-y symbol of our Christian denomination because it’s a piece old and young in each congregation know by heart.  It’s traditionally sung a capella, with four-part harmonies that would make any choral purist smile, to commemorate a special occasion like dedicating a new building or surpassing an offering goal.   It’s fast-paced, emotion-packed, and a complete blessing.  It is engrained in who we are as a people. 
I’m sharing this song with you today because we’ve reached a milestone together: one we can celebrate as a writing community!  Slicing each day in March was no small feat; with heart we wrote, we read, and we commented.  We emerged stronger through the feedback we gave and received, the way we shopped for writing ideas in our peers’ blog posts and then tried them out, and most importantly, how we held exercised discipline each day through the “B.I.C. Principle.”  (Thank you for the wise words, Ruth!)
So, from me to you on this final day of March, here’s a little slice of celebration:  #606.  I hope you enjoy its simplistic brilliance…  Congratulations, fellow writers, on working so hard this month!
Write on,


  1. 606 is a great way to commemorate the end of this challenge, indeed! This post is lovely.

  2. Beautiful, thank you for celebrating all of us from your cultural core. I have never heard this hymn sung in this way and it is inspiring.

  3. This is such a special way to share another facet of who you are with us. Thank you!

  4. What a great way to celebrate!

  5. Thanks for sharing this. As someone who lives near Lancaster, PA, I know that there are many differences between the Mennonite and Amish communities. I'm constantly trying to learn more. Thanks for educating me tonight, B.

    1. Nice! So you are somewhat familiar with Amish, Mennonites, and every sort of denomination in between. What is confusing about Mennonites is that they some may look progressive, some are Old Older (wearing dresses and white bonnets or no bonnets at all...); it isn't as clear-cut as I may have presented above :). But, I'm sure the longer you live around Lancaster, you'll see how it all works out! Thanks for your comment, Stacey :). Good luck with the course you're planning...


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