A Report to the Workshop by Cena King
Written by Irene Klassen (Oct 2001)
Cena King and her husband Lloyd served with MCC Akron for several years and felt very much at home after generations away from their roots.
William Penn, an English Quaker who was given a grant of land in America as a settlement of a family debt, used that land in Pennsylvania, for refugees from religious persecution. Along with the Quakers were also some Amish and Mennonites who came from Switzerland. The first came even before those who founded Germantown in 1683. The Quakers and Mennonites believed in separation of Church and State as well as in non-resistance.
Their opposition to slavery brought further persecution in the new homeland so that some migrated to Ontario about 100 years later, travelling in the famous Conestoga wagons.
Mennonite homes were also known as stopovers for the slaves escaping northward along the Underground Railroad. As the land in Pennsylvania became overpopulated the people migrated westward, through Iowa and other states, some coming to Canada.
Today Lancaster County is famous for its Amish/Mennonite ambiance – the horse and buggy, the quilts the markets, the food like shoofly pie - all of which serves a lucrative tourist trade.