When I was little, I was certain I knew what a Mennonite was. A Mennonite was that small, evil Kirby thing with wings and a sword. Oh wAiT that’s Meta Knight. Just kidding.I had no idea what a Mennonite was. However, after going to church for a bit, enough knowledge got bonked into my skull that I now have a reasonable understanding of what Mennonites are (hint: not Amish).
From what I gathered, Mennonites have three main things that separate them from everyone else.
Pacifism: Mennonites love a good ‘ol pacifistic approach to life. This includes conflict de-escalation or better yet, avoiding conflict at all costs and simply speaking in passive aggressive tones until someone else addresses the issue.
Focus on community. A Mennonite community is a good community, full of love, joy and card games. But of course, don’t let those pacifistic beliefs fool you; just because community is key and pacifism is the goal does not mean you will be exempt from a severe butt-whooping in Dutch Blitz.
After you have been sorely beaten, the Mennonites will warmly smile, pat your hand and bake you a loaf of bread.
Pot-lucks. You seriously thought I was going to say something religious? Oh no no no. Mennonite potlucks are TO DIE FOR. Meatballs, small sausages and more meatballs!
The best kind of Sunday is a potluck Sunday where you awkwardly stand in line with old people that obviously know you but unfortunately you can’t tell one wrinkly bald person from another.
Pot-lucks are where all three of the Mennonite agendas intersect and become whole on your plate of bread and coleslaw.
Additionally, Mennonites are known to have a few quirks. If you see people randomly standing in the fountains, they are probably getting baptized. You may notice that everyone seems super friendly to each other. That’s probably because they’re second cousins.
Don’t be surprised if spontaneous four-part harmony breaks out in the showers or if the parking lots seem to be disproportionately full of bumper-sticker clad Priuses (Priusi? Priu?)
You may still be confused, and don’t worry, we are too. But here at Goshen College, everything connects… to electric chargers for all those darn Priuses.
And if you want to further your understanding of Menno culture or support the Prius gang, check out the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale!