Lutheran and Mennonite Reconciliation today, Thursday the 22nd
Mennonite gift to LWF
The gift followed an intense and heartfelt introduction to action, and included a vote with many delegates voting on their knees in repentence before God and in request of forgiveness from the Mennonites.
The gift is a pine well bucket, a varnished wooden pail, roughly 20 by 20 inches, with narrow steel rings around the outside, a steel handle. Essentially it looks like a well bucket.
The bucket is engraved with the following: “Given to the Lutheran world federation by Mennonite world conference with deepest gratitude on this day of repentance and forgiveness. From this day forth let us serve one another as our Lord and Teacher served us. (John 13:1-17)” and dated 22 July Stuttgart
The “Footwashing Pail” was made by the Anabaptist community in the Nickle Mines area. “in the Nickle Mines area” is due to the fact that they are a “modest community” and Larry Miller, out of respect for their reticence about being in the media spotlight. It is from one of the Anabaptist communities in Eastern Pennsylvania that still practices foot washing. Footwashing is done prior to the Lord’s Supper as a sign of service and reconciliation.
The Old Order Amish community at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, PA, came into a tragic spotlight on October 2, 2006 when a gunman took ten girls hostage in the one room school house, killed five and committed suicide in the school. The response of reconciliation and forgiveness and the resistance in the Amish community to express anger or bitterness was widely discussed in both churches and wider public across the country.