Appointment is a term used in the (old) Mennonite Church, especially in Eastern Pennsylvania and Ontario, to refer to the stated Sunday worship service of a congregation. In the past, most congregations in these areas, some of which still continued this pattern in the 21st century, usually had Sunday services only every two weeks. It thus became necessary to fix and announce in advance the appointed dates for services, and this was usually done annually for the entire year ahead. These appointments were then printed in a pamphlet called a Calendar, either a Meeting Calendar or Calendar of Appointments. By metonymy the meeting places listed in the calendar were also called appointments. These appointments were not identical with the congregations, but referred to the designated meetinghouses; a congregation might have two or three meetinghouses, and often an appointment might be in a schoolhouse for a group of worshipers on the fringe of a settlement or for worshipers in a new settlement when there was as yet no organized congregation. Moreover the attendance at a given appointment might and usually did include worshipers from several congregations in a settlement, since not more than half of the meetinghouses were in use on a given Sunday.
The term appointment is also used in Eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere for the special services appointed for a minister visiting from a distance. According to custom, the visiting minister is often invited to preach in a series of meetinghouses on Sunday morning and evening and on weekday evenings. These appointments are announced in all the meetinghouses of the district.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 144. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Appointment." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A676ME.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1955). Appointment. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A676ME.html.