2015 Heritage Fundraiser

“Order and Change: The Amish in 21st Century America”
Herman Bontrager

Image courtesy of Eastern Mennonite University

Image courtesy of Eastern Mennonite University

The 2015 Heritage Fundraiser will be held on Friday, May 1, 2015 from 6 to 9 p m at Deep Run Mennonite  Church East, 350 Kellers Church Road, Perkasie, PA, 18944.  The event benefits the Mennonite Heritage Center.

The evening will begin with a delicious catered meal served buffet style. In the program immediately following the dinner, Herman Bontrager, President and CEO of Goodville Mutual Casualty Company, will speak on “Order and Change: The Amish in 21st Century America”. Tickets are $50 per person and must be purchased in advance. Scroll down to buy tickets online.

Old Order Amish, one of the fastest growing Anabaptist descendant churches in North America, are visible alternative communities in the United States and Canada. The Amish thrive within the dominant “modern” culture but at times their way of life is in conflict with the dominant culture and the laws of the land. Mr. Bontrager’s presentation will review how their practices and beliefs equip the Amish to navigate the line between tradition and adaptation to the world and on how to survive a tragedy such as the Nickel Mines school shooting in 2006.  This will be an opportunity to better understand and appreciate the Amish part of the Anabaptist family and to reflect on the counter-culture role of the Body of Christ.

Herman Bontrager, a member of Akron Mennonite Church, grew up in a Beachy Amish home in Indiana. He received a B.A. in Sociology and Bible from Eastern Mennonite College in 1972 and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Florida in 1976. As secretary of the National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom since 1985 he has worked with Amish on a variety of religious liberty and other legal matters affecting the Amish. In 2006 he served as spokesperson for the Nickel Mines Amish community following the shooting of ten school girls, five fatally, and has maintained relationships with the community since.

He served five years in El Salvador and Honduras with Amish Mennonite Aid and Eastern Mennonite Mission followed by 14 years with Mennonite Central Committee as Director of Latin America programs and the International Peace Office. From 2008-2012 he served as chair of the bi-national board of MCC.  Since 1990 he is CEO of Goodville Mutual Casualty Company in New Holland, Pennsylvania. He has served on numerous Mennonite Church agency, Mennonite World Conference, trade association and community boards and committees. Currently he is chairman of the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania and serves on the Eastern Mennonite University board of trustees.

Advance tickets only. $50 per person.