Wednesday, April 02, 2008
This is one of the five books that I read while we were on vacation. The book was a very good read even though it was a little repetitive in places. However, I think the process was there to "hammer" down the point of the forgiveness and grace that we need to show individuals.
From the Inside Flap
The remarkable response of the Amish community to the horrific shooting of ten schoolage girls at Nickel Mines, Pennsyvania, in October 2006 stunned the larger world. Amish Grace tells the incredible story of the community's reaction to this sensless shooting and explores its profoundly countercultural practice of forgiveness.
Amish Grace explores the many questions the story raises about the religious beliefs that led the Amish to forgive so quickly. In a world where religion spawns so much violence and revenge, the surprising act of Amish forgiveness begs for deeper consideration.
About the Authors
Goshen College Professor of History Steven M. Nolt, a leading expert on the Amish, is one of the co-authors of the book, along with Senior Fellow at the Young Center of Elizabethtown College Donald B. Kraybill and Associate Professor of American Religious History at Messiah College David L. Weaver-Zercher. The book explores the history, theology and culture of the Amish, connecting forgiveness to their entire way of life. The book is based on conversations with more than two dozen Amish people in the Nickel Mines area, including family members of the slain children
Because the authors did not want to profit off of this tragedy, all author royalties from “Amish Grace” are being donated to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to benefit children suffering because of poverty, war and natural disaster. MCC is a relief, development and peace agency of the North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches.
I think that this books shows one important aspect that many of us miss. What we surround ourselves with and how we live our lives are going to "produce" results and actions when we are "pushed".
Community, togetherness and forgiveness is embedded into their culture. Thus, when this trajedy occurred, forgiveness was a natural flow for them.
This is why I think "virtues" are so important in our lives and we need to center ourselves in virtues. When we do this, we will live out the virtues and they will be an overflow from us and it will be a natural process.
Concerning ministry, this is why I am thinking that we need to make some shifts and changes and "embed" virtues through our ministry and allow them be the solid rock foundation from which we stand. When life happens, crisis occurs; we will act (or react) out of the virtues.
The book is broken into three aspects: the shooting, aspects of amish forgiveness, forgiveness played out. If you read the book, you will gain insight and appreciation towards the Amish and you will have the opportunity to wrestle with the concept of forgiveness and what it means.