I grow Hutterite soup bean . I am not a Hutterite
We Hutterites are now living in a golden age. Never before in our history has there been such a long period where the authorities have left us alone to live and worship as we wish. The communities we live in are safe, secure and prosperous.
Around us, the world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. The Christian worldview that has shaped societies for over two thousand years is under fire and in some places, almost obsolete. Self is worshipped in place of God and truth is considered relative. The world is at our gates, trying to win the hearts and minds of our young people. It is a time to be on our guard,
Each colony may consist of about 10 to 20 families (may not always apply), with a population of around 60 to 250. When the colony’s population grows near the upper limit and its leadership determines that branching off is economically and spiritually necessary, they locate, purchase land for, and build a “daughter” colony.
The process by which a colony splits to create a new daughter colony varies across the branches of colonies. In Lehrerleut, this process is quite structured, while in Darius and Schmiedeleut the process can be somewhat less structured. In a Lehrerleut colony, the land will be purchased and buildings actually constructed before anyone in the colony knows who will be relocating to the daughter colony location. The final decision as to who leaves and who stays will not be made until everything is ready at the new location.
During the construction process, the colony leadership splits the colony up as evenly as possible, creating two separate groups of families. The two groups are made as close as possible to equal in size, taking into account the practical limits of family unit sizes in each group. Additionally, the leadership must split the business operations as evenly as possible. This means deciding which colony might take on, for example, either hog farming or dairy. Colony members are given a chance to voice concerns about which group a family is assigned to, but at some point, a final decision is made. This process can be very difficult and stressful for a colony, as many political and family dynamics become topics of discussion, and not everyone will be happy about the process or its results.
Once all decisions have been made, the two groups might be identified as “Group A” and “Group B”. The last evening before a new group of people is to leave the “mother” colony for the “daughter” colony, two pieces of paper, labeled “Group A” and “Group B”, are placed into a hat. The minister will pray, asking for God’s choice of the paper drawn from the hat, and will draw one piece of paper. The name drawn will indicate which group is leaving for the daughter colony. Within hours, the daughter colony begins the process of settling a brand new site.
This very structured procedure differs dramatically from the one that might be used at some Darius and Schmiedeleut colonies, where the split can sometimes be staggered over time, with only small groups of people moving to the new location at a time.