March 16, 2015

Garden Spot Village and Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society are once again teaming up on a program ddesigned to provide a deeper understanding of the Amish community.  Residents, friends and the general public are invited to "The Amish: Of Renegades, Literature and Healthcare" will meet on three Mondays beginning April 13. 

Learn more about the Amish when Garden Spot Village and Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (LMHS) present "The Amish: Of Renegades, Literature and Healthcare" in April. Garden Spot Village will also host a presentation on Amish history in May.

"This is the third year that we are collaborating with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on the Amish educational series. The program presents a tremendous opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Amish community, which is so much a part of the fabric of Lancaster County," said Chet Yoder, director of pastoral services at Garden Spot Village. "We invite our neighbors to attend one or all of the presentations.

The series launches on Monday, April 13, with "Bergholz: A Renegade Amish Community." Donald B. Kraybill, author and senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, will talk about the 16 members of an Amish group in Bergholz, Ohio, who were convicted of federal hate crimes for attacking other Amish at night and cutting off their beards. Kraybill will be available to sign several of his books, including Renegade Amish: Beard Cutting, Hate Crimes, and the Trial of the Bergholz Barbers, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014.

On Monday, April 20, a panel discussion on "The 'Real' Amish Literature" will explore the current prominence of Amish literature, focusing on Amish authors and what makes for good, authentic fiction and non-fiction Amish writing. Presenters are Linda Byler, Amish novelist, and Valerie Weaver-Zercher, writer and managing editor for Herald Press. Phyllis Pellman Good, a writer, book editor and publisher, will moderate. Byler will sign copies of her new novel, The Witness, and Weaver-Zercher will sign her recent book, Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels.

The LMHS series will conclude on Monday, April 27, with a panel discussion on issues in the Amish healthcare. Herman Bontrager, secreteary of the National Religious Freedom Committee of the Amish, will moderate a panel that includes Allen Hoover, director, Parochial Medical Center; Charles Bauman, retired director, Green Pastures at Philahaven; and an Amish healthcare coordinator. The panelists will explore unique approaches and the issues in Amish healthcare, such as deep listening, accessibility, controlled defensive medicine and natural remedies.

Garden Spot Village will host an additional program about the Amish on Monday, May 11. Paul Kurtz, coordinator of the Nicholas Stoltzfuz Homestead in Wyomissing, will talk about Amish immigration patterns and the legacy of the Nicholas Stoltzfus house.

All presentations will meet from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the chapel at Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland. The presentations are free; donations are welcome. No cameras or video cameras are permitted.

For more information, contact Rolando Santiago, executive director of Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, at 717-917-5212. For directions to Garden Spot Village, call 717-355-6000.