Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Some people wanted to know a bit about about our lives and families.  So let me start with my family.  My wife Emma and I have nine children.  They are all grown, married and with families of their own.  We all live pretty close together.  They are all farmers and raise cows.  At present, we have 15 grandchildren with at least one more on the way.

I come from a family of 16 children - I am the eldest.  Emma came from a family of 10 children.  We grew up near each other, and went to the same school.  Emma and I courted for quite a while and would probably still be courting if her parents hadn't decided to move.  They would be taking Emma with them.  The night I heard that, we went to the Bishop, set the wedding date and married about a month later.  By the way, her parents did move, but ended up moving back again.  I kid them and say they did that to get me to finally marry Emma.

Like Elmer said, we moved around and ended back in Pennsylvania. Our last move, so far, is in New York State.  We have no plans on moving again, but we never know what the Lord wants us to do. So what's that old saying: you never say never.

Telling about our lives, I assume you mean Bishop family life.  When I became Bishop, as happened when Bishop Joseph became Bishop, some of our older children were not happy.  They had to accept it because it was God's decision not ours, but that did not make them happy.  Young folk seemed to think they were going on display because their father was Bishop.  In a way, I guess they were.  If any of them did anything wrong - not matter how small - people would say, but you are the Bishop's son or you are the Bishop's daughter.  Emma and my reply were they are not perfect.  They are young folk and so make mistakes.  Whatever they did was taken care of at home.  No one adult or child or young folk is perfect.  We all make mistakes - some worse than others.

It doesn't bother them as much now,  as they are all grown up with families of their own.  Still my grandchildren get that there Grandfather is the Bishop - like they didn't know that already.

Being a Bishop, at times, I live a busy life.  In addition to my farm, I have the work of the Lord.  It helps that my sons live near by as they help with chores when necessary.  Also Amish members of our church help when they know I have other things to do and can't handle everything.  Even our English neighbors have come to help milk cows, feed the animals, etc.

In our home, I have an office, that I use for my study.  Also, it is used if someone wants to come to my home to discuss something with me, set up their wedding, funeral or something else.  If women come along, Emma comes in the office with her.

I am sometimes called to a home if someone is ill, a fire, someone is injured, and more.  Also, I go to the hospital at times.

 Really, I am not like the Bishop you read about in the novel books.  I don't think my Amish people are afraid of me as you read people are in novels.

I don't really know what information you want to know about the Bishop.  So please ask.  That is how I know to answer your questions.

Our Amish people help me as much, if not more, than I help them at times.  They help me on my farm.  Most anything I ask someone, they will do for Emma or myself.  When I go on vacation, they care for our farm.  Even Bishop's need vacation for a rest.

God Bless and Keep you,


Tom said...

A busy life is a good life.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,
That is true.


Lily said...

Interesting, and down to earth. I like it.

I wonder how Emma felt when you first became bishop - in comparison to how she feels now.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Lily,
Glad you like it. Will see that Eli and Emma get your question.


Vickie said...

Oh Bishop Eli, thank you. You are quite right. I thought that most people feared their Bishop.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,
That was one thing Bishop Eli wanted me to put in there - that people don't fear the Bishop like they do in novels.


dynnamae n said...

I quite enjoyed reading what Bishop Eli had to say. I also noticed his sense of humor in his writing. Life is such serious business that I don't what people do without a sense of humor. Thank you, Bishop for sharing with us.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning dynnamae n,
I don't think enough people have a sense of humor in this world. So glad that Bishop Eli and Elmer do. Will see that Bishop Eli gets your message.


Angela Tucker said...

Good morning, Marilyn. I really enjoyed reading this from Bishop Eli. And yes, he and Elmer seem to have the same down-to-earth style. I like that...it makes God closer. I also like that his community steps in to help when he and Emma are busy with other work. I find it very interesting that his English neighbors give a hand...the true meaning of being a "neighbor".

A couple of questions: Does Bishop Eli perform the marriage ceremony himself? Does he have to be licensed by the state?

Thank you for everything you do! Have a great day.

kymber said...

Marilyn - this was a very interesting post by Bishop Eli. i have a few questions one of which was asked by Angela about recquiring a license. another question is how is a Bishop elected or chosen? does the Bishop recquire special training? are there rules such as: does the Bishop have to be a certain age, does he have to be married or any other rules like that? i know - it's a lot of questions but i would love to hear the answers. please tell all of the writers that it is through the variety of their posts that some of us are starting to feel like we know them...even though we have never met.

your friend,

Anonymous said...

It was quite nice to read about Bishop Eli. Thanks to you both.
Carol in SC

Anonymous said...

Bishop Eli, thank you. It seems like you must have some difficult decisions to make sometimes, but that you make them after much prayer and thought. I remember Elmer saying something about you speaking to him about using a cell phone too often. You have so much responsibility to your congregation and to your family. Your children feel the same way as many children of other bishops, ministers and pastors do, like they're being ,watched, all the time. Thank you again. Perhaps Emma would tell us about being a bishop's wife?

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Folks,
I will see that Bishop Eli gets all your messages and questions. Will see that Emma gets hers too.

Was visited today my an old friend of mine, who I haven't seen each other in many years. It was her Mother's funeral I attended last Saturday. We had a nice long chat today trying to catch up and remembering the good old days. So I haven't been on here.


LMJ said...

Interesting! One question right away was, do they actually have ONLY 15 grands, what with NINE married children?! That's unusual. My background is much the same...my mom from a family of 16, dad one of 12, and I was the oldest of 6. Anyway, I have at least 150 first cousins, or more. In my immediate family, we 6 children gave my parents 22 grandchildren so far, with likely a few more to come. So, back to Bishop Eli....it makes me think he meant 50, not 15. :-) But, I could be wrong...I often am! ;-)

New York State Of Mind said...

I will have to ask Bishop Eli because I really don't know. I thought he said 15, but I could be wrong. I have been wrong before and had to correct it.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that being a Bishop means being a social worker, a mentor, a community organizer as well as a spiritual leader, would you say that's true? It sounds like a very hard job.

Birgit from Austria

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Birgit,
I will see that Bishop Eli gets your questions.