Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonites is a branch of the Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

Church Body
A local church is a Christian religious organization that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by pastors or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek seek non-profit corporate status...

. Although the term strictly refers to one particular group, it is often used to refer to those groups of Mennonites who practice a lifestyle without some elements of modern technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...



The avoidance of technologies by Old Order Mennonites and Old Order Amish is based not on a belief that the technology is in some way evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

, but over a concern for the nature of their communities. Community is important to a Mennonite, and a technology or practice is rejected if it would adversely affect it. This means that the prohibitions are not usually absolute; a Mennonite who would not dream of owning a car may therefore use a car or other modern transport if a pressing need arises. This basis also means that a Mennonite sees no contradiction in having electricity in their milking barn — since that is necessary to comply with regulations on milk cooling — but not in their house.

Other aspects of Old Order Mennonite life are concerned with plainness. The concept of plainness dictates the distinctive dress
Plain dress
Plain dress is a religious practice in which people dress in clothes of traditional modest design, sturdy fabric, and conservative cut. It is used to show humility and to preserve communal separateness from the rest of the world. It is practiced by some Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites,...

 of the Mennonite. Plain to a Mennonite is the opposite of showy or ostentatious, and is considered a virtue. It is based on the belief that a person's true worth does not lie in their clothes or appearance. It is this aspect of their beliefs that regulates the dress style, giving Mennonites their distinctive look with straw hats or bonnets, and plain dresses or pants. Old Order Mennonites do not allow cars.

Old Order Mennonites refuse to accept Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

, unemployment benefits or state pension benefits. Old Order Mennonites in Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 have negotiated with the government to gain exemption from paying contributions to many social funds on which they will not collect and from other dues from which they will not benefit.

Amish and Old Order Mennonites do not use traditional health insurance with monthly premiums and co-pays. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County, known as the Garden Spot of America or Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a county located in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of 2010 the population was 519,445. Lancaster County forms the Lancaster Metropolitan Statistical Area, the...

, some Amish and Mennonites use Preferred Health Care (PHC) Old Order Group coverage (OOG). When an OOG member visits a participating provider (approximately 1100 local physicians and nine hospitals in the Lancaster area accept the OOG coverage), he or she would present a unique white card with red and blue print identifying him or her as a PHC member. These cards are void of any identifying information, as is the custom of their religious belief. After care is rendered, providers submit a claim to PHC for a "repricing" as if the patient had insurance. A PHC statement is then sent to the medical practice and the patient indicating the discounted amount due the provider. The practice then collects the repriced amount from the patient directly, as per practice policy for collecting balances due on self-pay patient accounts. In this way, the Old Order Group has engaged in collective bargaining practices to lower their cost of health care. Additionally, the community will support any member who is sick, disadvantaged, old, or who suffers an accident.

Unlike Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites have meeting houses for worship, typically of very simple design and lacking adornment.

Old Order Mennonites can be found in many parts of the United States and Canada. There are large numbers in Wellington County, Ontario
Wellington County, Ontario
Wellington County is a county located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The county seat is Guelph, a city which is politically independent, but Guelph's status as the seat means it houses the county's administrative offices...

, and Waterloo Region, Ontario
Regional Municipality of Waterloo
The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is a regional municipality located in Southern Ontario, Canada. It consists of the cities of Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo, and the townships of Wellesley, Woolwich, Wilmot, and North Dumfries. It is often referred to as the Region of Waterloo or just...

, but they are also found in other parts of Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario is a region of the province of Ontario, Canada that lies south of the French River and Algonquin Park. Depending on the inclusion of the Parry Sound and Muskoka districts, its surface area would cover between 14 to 15% of the province. It is the southernmost region of...


Other groups similar to the Old Order Mennonites include the David Martin Mennonites
David Martin Mennonites
David Martin Mennonites are Old Order Mennonites in Wellington County, Ontario and Waterloo Region, Canada. They were a division in 1917, concerning issues of discipline, from the Old Order Mennonite Church in Ontario . They do not cooperate with other Old Order groups...


See also

  • Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church
    Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church
    Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church is the largest Old Order Mennonite group to use horse-drawn carriages for transportation. Their black carriages distinguish them from the Amish, who use gray ones. They are mainly rural people, using steel-wheeled tractors to work small farms...

  • Orthodox Mennonites (Canada)
    Orthodox Mennonites (Canada)
    The Orthodox Mennonites consist of two separate but related groups of Old Order Mennonites located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The original unified group, named Elam Martins, was a division from the David Martin Mennonites in Waterloo Region, Canada in 1957.The Elam Martins, named after their...

  • Peace churches
    Peace churches
    Peace churches are Christian churches, groups or communities advocating Christian pacifism. The term historic peace churches refers specifically only to three church groups among pacifist churches: Church of the Brethren, Mennonites including the Amish, and Religious Society of Friends and has...

  • Plain people
    Plain people
    Plain people are Christian groups characterized by separation from the world and simple living, including plain dress. These group include Amish; Old Order, Conservative and Old Colony Mennonites; Old German Baptist Brethren; the Hutterites; and Old Order River Brethren; and at one time Quakers,...

  • Stauffer Mennonite
    Stauffer Mennonite
    Stauffer, or Piker, Mennonites are “Team Mennonites”, meaning they use horse drawn transportation. The original church was founded in 1845 but split into several separate churches very quickly. As of 2010, these groups are among the most conservative of all Swiss Mennonites outside the Amish...

External links

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