Ginger and I have friends that practice both the Amish and German Baptist Brethren faith. I’ve always admired both of these churches for two reasons. First, they’re both Anabaptist.
Old German Baptist Brethren (OGBB) descend from a pietism movement in Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708, when Alexander Mack founded a fellowship with seven other believers. They are one of several Brethren groups that trace themselves to that original founding body. These emerged from the German Reformed and Lutheran Churches, and are historically known as German Baptists rather than English Baptists. Other names by which they are sometimes identified are Dunkers, Drunkards, Tunkers, and Täufer, all relating to their practice of baptism by immersion. They are part of the post-reformation Anabaptists (which include, among others, the Amish and Mennonites), who rejected baptism of infants as a biblically valid form of baptism. Because of persecution, many Brethren immigrated to America, with the greatest influx being between 1719 and 1729.
Secondly, they both practice helping brothers and sisters in Christ and family. For example, if someone calls the church to help build a new barn, they all come running to pitch in and help. No questioned asked. Usually they can put up a framed barn in one day. It might take a week to get it completed.
Ginger and I have been a member of the Bradford Church of the Brethren for many years. The church is noted for several ordinances like believer’s baptism by trine forward-immersion in water, feet washing, the love feast, communion of the bread and cup, the holy kiss, and anointing of the sick with oil.
I’ve told you all of this, because we received a call this weekend from our oldest grandson, Chris Rank and his family, to help finish, repair, and clean their house which will go on the for sale market as you read this week’s column.
They found another house that has more rooms and a bigger yard for their two children Roman and Athena.
“Don’t forget, we’re helping Chris and Michelle this Sunday after church,” Ginger reminded me.
“What about lunch?” I questioned.
“I’m taking a pot roast, mashed potatoes, pot pie, gravy and home made rolls,” she promised. “You won’t starve.”
“What will we be doing?” I asked sincerely.
“Chris needs help to finish their front porch, and to help clean up the rubbish he’s accumulated since they moved in,” she explained.
“And what will you be doing, besides making dinner and dessert?” I inquired.
“I will be helping Kelly and Michelle (Chris’s wife) to paint, clean, and prepare the house for buyers that will start on Wednesday,” she informed me.
“Looks like we will be there awhile,” I grumbled. “So much for the golf match, interjected in silence.
This week’s bottom line: We didn’t get everything completed, but we did make a big dent. I think they’ll be ready when the first prospect comes to visit.
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.