A. M. Fire and Storm [Insurance]: Simplicity in a Strongly Amish Institution

By Schlegel, Catherine | Mennonite Quarterly Review, July 1997 | Go to article overview

A. M. Fire and Storm [Insurance]: Simplicity in a Strongly Amish Institution


Schlegel, Catherine, Mennonite Quarterly Review


In Ontario, the "Amish" in "A. M." (Amish Mennonite) is a name not at all limited to "Old Order Amish." When Mennonites of Ontario hear the word Amish, at least in local context, they are just as likely to think of a certain group of Mennonite congregations west of the towns of Kitchener-Waterloo whose roots are in Amish and Amish Mennonite history--congregations begun by Amish who immigrated from the Alsace province of France mainly between 1822 and 1860. These Amish and some related groups in Ontario have established their own particular version of a mutual aid organization: the Amish Mennonite Fire and Storm Aid Union, commonly known as "A. M. Fire and Storm" (or, hereafter, the "Aid Union"). The Aid Union is designed to meet its members' needs without compromising their faith principles. In many respects its organization remains rather informal, especially in contrast to the ever more complex and bureaucratized manner of many institutions in the modern world. Yet it has thrived, aided by the face-to-face ethos of the communities who sponsor it and by some indulgence from government. In some respects the Aid Union, by its very existence, reflects the modern urge to become more systematic in matters such as mutual aid; yet it also has defied some patterns of development that we have come to expect in modern institutions.

Clearly the Aid Union's aim is to provide a necessary service to a particular set of faith communities in a manner consistent with the communities' theological principles. These Christian principles and the commitment of the communities to them determine the Aid Union's form and content. Any "unique features" of the Aid Union were not intended to be so; yet together such features do offer an alternative to organizational patterns in the larger society. Similarly, if they embody so-called "Anabaptist" themes, they also do that rather inadvertently. Most likely, the Amish immigrants were not as familiar with the writings of such early Anabaptists as Menno Simons, Pilgram Marpeck and Bernhard Rothmann as they were with the scriptures on which such Anabaptists drew. Early Anabaptist writers perceived the necessity and practicality of scriptural "mutual sharing and burden bearing" among a community of believers. (2) The Aid Union is in fact only one of a number of forms of mutual aid practiced in its community.

Membership

The Aid Union serves primarily members of a cluster of churches and fellowships who are quite traditional in an Amish and Mennonite sense. They are the "old Western Ontario churches" (MC congregations whose roots are in the nineteenth-century immigration from Alsace and who abandoned the name "Amish Mennonite" only in 1963); the so-called Beachy Amish; the Church of God in Christ Mennonites (Holdemans) who settled around St. Mary's, Ontario in the 1950s; various Old Order Amish districts (some derived from the 1822-1860 migrations from Alsace and others resulting from fairly recent migrations to Ontario's Lakeside, Chesley and Tiverton areas); and several unaffiliated congregations. Any person accepted for membership by one of the participating churches or districts is eligible for the Aid Union's mutual aid coverage; these groups provide the Aid Union's backbone.

However, some other individuals participate, largely due to kinship ties, even though they may have joined other Anabaptist-derived groups. Commonly, persons voluntarily withdraw if they leave the Anabaptist-related churches altogether, and Mennonites who have become highly acculturated into modern methods of business and organization very often do the same. The pattern does not prevent participation by many congregations of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada, which is jointly affiliated with the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church and whose people do not stand out with plain attire. To date, the pattern has worked quite well to define the Aid Union's boundaries.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A. M. Fire and Storm [Insurance]: Simplicity in a Strongly Amish Institution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.