Shelley asks…

I wonder why the Amish keep themselves so separate from other Christians. Do they welcome other believers in God to their church?

The Amish keep themselves separate so that they are not tempted by the things and ways of the world. The purpose of the lifestyle we live is to keep our lives simple and less cluttered so that we can focus wholly on Jesus Christ and the way God wants us to live. Anyone is welcome to attend our church services as long as they do not try to lead our people astray. Since the services are mostly in German and Pennsylvania Dutch, it would be beneficial to the visitor if they know those languages or had someone explain what part of the Bible they were teaching from so the visitor can better follow along. Thank you for the questions and God be with you!

Nancy asks…

I have Amish friends who are expecting their fourth baby this month. I would like to put a basket together for the family including the baby and their three little girls, and for the parents, and would like the gifts to be useful. Wondering if a small tea set for the girls would be OK?

Yes, a tea set is a nice choice for the girls. For the baby, any useful items are welcome such as washcloths, baby shampoo, etc. For the parents taking in a meal is most appreciated. Always nice to have a new baby around and nice neighbors to help support them during this busy time!

Donna asks…

I know the Amish quilt by hand, and I also know they use sewing machines for making clothing and such. My question is this: Do they use the sewing machine when piecing a quilt to do it quickly, or do they do the entire quilt process by hand?

Sewing machines are used to piece quilts. It takes too much time otherwise. Most of the quilts are hand-quilted though. Without electricity, most households use foot-operated treadle sewing machines.

Debbie from Oklahoma asks…

Does each family pay for their own medical emergencies or is there some type of community health insurance where the burden is shared?

If the family can afford to pay their own medical expenses they do so. If not, we have what is called a free-will plan. First the other members of the church district in which the medical emergency occurred give a free-will offering. If the bill is too high to be covered by this offering, a letter is sent to neighboring districts or communities asking for free-will offerings.

Fundraisers are another way to raise money. This can be done through get-togethers or food drives. For a food drive, a group will organize and assemble food (pizza, donuts, fry pies, chicken, sub sandwiches, etc.) which they sell door-to-door.