The beginning on the Amish and Mennonites. The Anabaptists, in 1536, separated from the state church (in Switzerland) because of their belief that a relationship with Christ was an adult choice and baptism is for adults who decide to follow Christ in every aspect of their life. Menno Simons was one of their leaders and eventually a group of Anabaptists were called after him, and known as Mennonites.
Today there are over one million members world-wide. Mennonite beliefs and practices vary widely, but being peacemakers, following Jesus in daily life and giving through service are the foundations of their beliefs. Service to others is demonstrated in their many quilting bees and in the Amish quilts made for different relief causes.
Most modern Mennonites today look just the same as any person you meet on the street, and they live in many countries around the world. Many Mennonite women work outside the home, and do not find as much time as their more conservative sisters do, to make quilts. It is generally the older women of the Mennonite Quilters who join in monthly Quilting Bees, where they make patchwork quilts to send to those in need. They believe in simple living, but express that simplicity in a spirit of service to their community and church and awareness of the needs of others rather than completely separating from society as the Amish continue to do.
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