Plain Communities: Inspiration and Opportunity for Dove's Nest

By Jan Slabaugh, Dove’s Nest Speaker’s Bureau and Board Member

Jan, Anna Groff, and Jeanette Harder (in photo) traveled to northern New York in June as a learning tour to build relationships with the Plain communities in that area. Dove’s Nest offers cultural competency training for social service systems and workers to better relate to Amish and Old Order Mennonites. More information about that training can be found HERE.

Remember the things you did as a child: playing in puddles after a spring rain, having the summer breeze blow through your hair, harvesting vegetables from the garden in the fall, or sledding down a big hill on a runner sled!

These are the fun things that children still experience in the Plain communities that I visited in New York this past May. I didn’t see children watching television, playing video games, or using computers to distract their attention from being children.

These Plain communities are settings where the family unit of father, mother, and many children still exists. Older siblings care for younger children. Everyone helps each other learn and work together.

However, sometimes things are not as they seem from the surface. Even though their lifestyle seems idyllic, leaders and individuals within Plain communities recognize that their communities struggle with child abuse—as all communities do.

Fortunately, Dove’s Nest is working to reach out and connect to the Plain community in New York to bridge the gap between them and social services.

Dove’s Nest wants to help each side better understand and relate to one another. It is a wonderful opportunity to share God’s grace and blessing to each group.