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List last updated: 18-Mar-04
Unless noted as a different country, location descriptions (e.g., "Denver CO") are given as city and US state or Canadian province, using standardized North American postal abbreviations.
"Is this index sponsored by the Mennonite Church or the Amish?" Neither. It's simply an independent catalogue of sites publically available on the web. The content of each site linked here is the responsibility of whoever wrote it. I update the list on volunteer time whenever I get around to it. These days that's usually limited to adding URL's that people forward to me in e-mail, rather than searching for new links myself. If you know of a site I should add, please let me know!
"I just want officially sanctioned information about the Mennonite Church, not to wade through all this." In that case I suggest you start with the Third Way Cafe by Mennonite Media. It's designed as exactly such an introduction. They have a staff equipped to answer questions, as well.
"Where can I go to read more about Mennonites or Amish?" Try items from this selected bibliography. That list was suggested by Mennonites in an online discussion group.
"Is 'Mennonite' [or 'Amish'] a religion? A denomination? An ethnic background? A lifestyle? What? What makes a person Mennonite?" All or several or one of the above; it depends who you are or whom you ask. It has been debated for hundreds of years, and countless sermons have been preached about it, and entire books have been written about it, and groups have split over it. I can't answer that question.
"Can you tell me how to contact...?" No, sorry. I'm just a guy keeping this list updated periodically on my home computer. I don't have the time or resources to answer questions or do research. Some ideas, though: you can browse or search by a keyword here (using your browser's search functions), or ask at the Third Way Cafe, or try Mennonite.Net. Or, best of all, check with a library or Mennonite agency that has a recent issue of the Mennonite Yearbook (in print). Those are all excellent resources for making contacts.
"Is there any fee to be listed here?" No charge; simply send me your URL with a brief explanation (instructions are below). I'll take a look and add your site in the next update if everything seems OK. If the site looks legitimate with valid contact addresses, I'll add it to the list. I don't actually host anything here other than this list itself; everything points to sites that already exist on the Internet. This catalogue is "Free, and worth every penny!" as the saying goes.
"What if I find something here that's incorrect, or something that offends me?" That's entirely possible! A link could be broken, or a site could have wrong information, or a site might have something you don't like. I can fix a broken link problem (assuming the site still exists somewhere), but in other cases please contact the person or agency that maintains the site you visited. There is no regulation on the Web; everyone is responsible for the content that they host themselves.
"Are there sites or information here that the Mennonite Church doesn't agree with?" Probably. Again, the links here are simply to sites available freely on the Internet. People's opinions are their own, and a large portion of the Internet is self-published by anyone with a computer service and a few ideas. Anything goes. You will find sites that disagree with one another. You, the reader, are obviously free to form your own opinions about anything you find here. If you want the official church "take" on something, try some of the Primary Connections here.
Thanks for visiting!
What is the World-Wide Web? An anarchy of information about anything and everything, growing exponentially every day.
This is a catalog of Mennonite-related links on the WWW. Any attempt to organize the available resources is necessarily inadequate and ephemeral. There is no way to be comprehensive (sites continually appear, move, or vanish) or to avoid redundancy (any link may itself call any other). Most of the links here did not yet exist when this article was printed (July 1995); this site has grown more than 1800% in size since then.
Resources on the WWW are usually organized in hypertext documents to be displayed by your web browser (an Internet program on your desktop computer; three of the most popular are Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Opera.
In a hypertext document you simply click the mouse on an featured word or a picture to move automatically to another site anywhere in the world, based on a link encoded by the author. Hypertext links may also display pictures, play sound files, send e-mail, or even show short movies. Your browser automatically keeps track of which links you have already explored, changing the color of the text on your screen. Of course, the information behind the link may have changed; some sites are updated several times a day. You may save a reference mark ("bookmark" or "favorite") to any useful link. Access to sites is generally free and unrestricted: it is a truly worldwide and immediate exchange of information. Many people set up personal hypertext "home pages" with pictures, a short biography, a resume, links to their own favorite sites, or anything else.
It is much more important to know how to get to something than to know where it is. There are hundreds of ways to get to the same sites. Access is limited only by personal experience with intuitive browsing techniques and shortcuts. The easiest way to start exploring the WWW is to open a known site and follow any path of links that looks interesting. There are also many general catalogs of the WWW; see the "WWW in general" section above for some of the most powerful and widely used free services.
This catalogue is not officially sponsored by the Mennonite Church or any of its agencies; I maintain it only through volunteer effort. Authors of the sites linked here are responsible for their own content. If you find errors or are offended by something you find, please contact that individual site's author.
Updates are posted approximately every six weeks (but collected anytime). I verify all sites before inclusion in this catalogue, and the links are correct and appropriate (in my opinion) at the time of addition. However, some older links here may have expired without my knowledge. It is the nature of the World Wide Web for sites to be changing all the time....
Please send new links, corrections, updates, other suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org -- be sure to include the URL (web address) of the site which is to be added or corrected. Your site should include valid contact information to help verify its legitimacy: e-mail address, author's or organization's name, and preferably also a mailing address.
If you are here looking for official Mennonite Church information, I suggest you start with the Third Way Cafe. If you are looking for a basic reading list about Mennonites or Amish, I recommend this selected bibliography.