Community News


Paper Cutting Workshop at the Mennonite Heritage Center

The Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, announces a Paper Cutting Workshop scheduled for Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Popular paper cutting artist Pam Hults will teach the workshop. Participants can choose from several patterns that include both seasonal and traditional paper cutting designs. Students will take home a finished piece along with a finished grain painted frame provided by the instructor.  Workshop fee with materials is $90. Participants should bring along a cutting surface, exacto knife or small scissors and small paint brushes.  All other materials for the workshop will be supplied.

Preregistration is required as the class size is limited. To register, go to, email or call 215-256-3020.  No refunds are given unless a workshop is canceled for insufficient enrollment.

Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians  Annual Meeting 2018

The annual historical meeting of the Casselman Historians is scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday, September 14, 15, 2018, at the Maple Glen church, Grantsville, Maryland.

Topical focus: The Oppression of the Early Swiss Anabaptists and the Dutch Response of Aid

Schedule: Friday 7:00 P.M.; Saturday 9:00 A.M.; Lunch served at noon.

Friday evening: The Swiss oppression of Anabaptism will be discussed in regard to two time periods: (1) 1525 to 1575, in the time of Zwingli and Bullinger in Zurich and (2) 1575 to 1660 when the Anabaptists were nearly eliminated from Zurich, but severely persecuted in Canton Bern. Ulrich Zwingli was pastor of the Grossmünster, a large church in Zurich, and the leader of the reformation movement in Switzerland. Heinrich Bullinger was Zwingli’s successor.

Saturday forenoon: Attention turns to Holland and the early persecution there of the Anabaptists, their subsequent freedom, and the Dutch response to the plight of the Swiss Anabaptists.

Guest Speakers

James W. Lowry, Maugansville, Maryland, has served as teacher, writer, and librarian. He is the compiler, translator, and commentator of the Amsterdam series, i.e. the original documents that form the basis of this meeting as described below.

John L. Ruth, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, is the author of historical works, including various books, numerous articles, and several documentary films, and editor in the Amsterdam series. .

The topics of this meeting are based on original documents in archives in Europe. The project of compiling these documents had its beginning in 1997 when persons from various Amish and Mennonite groups in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including the Amish Library in Berlin, Ohio, formed the Amsterdam Archives Committee. The Committee, along with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, commissioned James W. Lowry of Maugansville, Maryland, to locate, copy, transcribe, and translate documents held in archives in Amsterdam. The ongoing project expanded to additional archives in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany. This resulted in 327 documents appearing in three volumes,1 the first in 2003 and the last in 2015. Each document is printed in its original language (German, Dutch, French or Latin) with its English translation on the facing page. These documents include actions of governments, writings of the persecutors and the persecuted, and letters between the Swiss and the Dutch Anabaptists.  

The meeting is public. All are welcome.