Where Two Are Gathered
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
A few years ago, my husband and I were in Ohio, where I was scheduled to do some book signings. We were pleased when a couple of our Amish friends from Pennsylvania hired a driver to bring them to Ohio so we could spend a few days together. Even though our time was short, the fellowship we had was sweet. We did some shopping, shared a few meals, and attended church together. We told stories from the past, talked about the future, and exchanged prayer requests. Even though our Amish friends dress differently than we do and live a different lifestyle, we have become close and enjoy each other’s company. We consider this couple to be among our dearest friends and look forward to our times of fellowship with them.
God doesn’t want us to close ourselves off from others. He wants us to spend time with other believers and gather in His name. I always feel the presence of God when I’m with a dear Christian friend. When we share our joys, sorrows, and prayer requests with others, we feel comforted and not alone.
For the Amish, spending this kind of quality time together very often involves food. My husband and I have attended many Amish functions, and most of them incorporated a tasty meal. Our Amish friends get together for many occasions that include weddings, biweekly church services, funerals, work frolics, ice cream suppers, young people singings, and charity events, as well as family gatherings such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
Most Amish gatherings involve sharing a meal or snacks with others in attendance. The meal following church is usually simple and light, such as bread, peanut butter spread, pickles, and cookies. However, meals on the day of an Amish wedding are more elaborate and filling, often including two or more kinds of meats, salads, condiments, and cooked vegetables. A special dessert at the end of the wedding meal is also served.
Amish gatherings aren’t just about meals, however. They are a time for fellowship and bonding with others, whether it be simply working together or getting caught up on one another’s lives. One of the things that make the Amish and other Plain groups unique is their desire to spend time with those in their community. Whether Amish or English, I think we could all greatly benefit from a renewed focus on spending time in fellowship with others.
Going to a gathering soon? Try this recipe from the new Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook.
5 cups milk
½ cup flour
1½ pounds Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon onion salt
½ cup sour cream and onion powder
6 to 7 pounds frozen shredded hash browns
In large saucepan, heat milk and flour to make a paste. Add cubed cheese. Stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients. Spread into large roaster. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
[Recipe is from Mrs. Orie Detweiler, Inola, OK]
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