Saturday, September 14, 2013

Amish Budget Newspaper Article in Wall Street Journal

Two Amish ladies, the mother of Paul Coblentz, owner of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, along with his aunt, Mary Ellen Miller, were mentioned in the Wall Street Journal August 30, 2013 article, "Amish Newspapers Thrive in Digital Age."  The article is referencing "The Budget" which is a 123 year-old weekly newspaper, and I should say, "A thick newspaper."  The Budget is the lifeblood of the Amish, which Paul and I call, "The Amish Facebook."

About 860 "Scribes" from Amish and Mennonite communities across the US, Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere contribute community news, usually on a weekly basis.  Paul's mother, Ada Coblentz, is a scribe in Sugarcreek, and his Aunt, Mary Ellen is a scribe from Pleasantville, Tennessee.  Because the Amish and conservative Mennonites typically are not engaged in digital technology, they continue to rely on hand-written copy and subscribe to this newspaper.  The Budget, along with phone messages, letters and postcards, delivered by traditional means, is their major means of communication.

The next time you come to the Berlin and Millersburg, Ohio area, be sure to pick up a copy of The Budget, which along with many other locations, can be purchased at Boyd & Wurthman, Heini's Cheese, Dutch Cupboard, German Village Market in Berlin, and Rodhe's IGA in Millersburg.  It delivers on Wednesdays and sells out quickly.  Reading through the posts will give you a good sense of the culture's ways.

In keeping with propriety and good taste, scribe posts are devoid of church and ordnung disagreements, which most surely do exist and are liberally discussed among society members.  You may note posts that mention a new settlement here or there.  The Amish always move into an existing community or with others to establish a new community.  A family never moves where they are isolated from other Amish.  They move for many reasons; sometimes because of urban sprawl which encroaches on their community, rising property taxes, and for cheaper land.  New settlements are organized with like-minded people who have established their own ordnung which allows or disallows certain things.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

At The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, on Sunday mornings, we usually share about how church districts are established and how ministers are selected.  Many Sunday morning discussions are quite interesting and engaging. Visit us sometime.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
September 14, 2013

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