Wednesday, April 16, 2014
CHURCH OR MEETING HOUSE
The Amana Church Society of True Inspirationists, plain and devout, is still in existence from its German beginnings in the 1714. There are no steeples or squires that rise above the houses. There are no stained glass windows or signs. Each village has a church, though, long, plain sandstone construction, and rectangular. From stories it seems each town wanted a church bigger than the village next to it. The white, frame windows are typical nine over six panes with simple white curtains and Colony blue paint. There is an entrance at each end of the building, one for men, one of women. Children attend Sunday school and as adults can enter the main church. Women wear a black, lace caplet, triangle shawl, and apron over the dress. Men wear black suits. The women sit on one side of the church, the men on the other still, to avoid flirtatious looks as originally thought. Elders, who deliver the service, sit at the head of the congregation. They were once only men, now women can deliver the service as well. Church service in old days was eleven times a week and more during Holy week. The congregation sits attentively on original German pine, bleached benches with their German or English Bibles as services are both in languages. The singing is led by a foresinger and monotone acapella. The floors are bleached pine with hand woven Amana carpet runners on main traffic paths. The Middle and Amana churches are still used for services, weddings as my nephews, funerals and luncheons.