Calendar of Appointments
A Calendar of Appointments is, a small pamphlet giving a complete list of the church appointments for the coming year, that is, the "appointed" dates of meeting of the regular Sunday services and the special services such as "inquiry" or "preparatory" service and communion service of the several Mennonite congregations in a conference district or regional area, and also the annual and semiannual conferences and ministers' meetings. Used only in the Mennonite Church, it was designed to help ministers and lay-members desiring to attend the services of sister congregations on the "off Sundays," that is, on the Sundays when no services were held at home (the almost universal practice was to hold the regular services biweekly only, for outlying places only monthly, and only in the mornings). Ministers were sometimes sent to "fill appointments" in the absence or illness of the home ministers.
Two of these "Meeting Calendars" are known, one for eastern Pennsylvania, one for Ontario. Which was first is not known. Although it seems probable that the one for eastern Pennsylvania preceded, the oldest existent copy is for 1854, while the first edition of the one for Ontario was for 1836 in German. The latter was published in German only, 1836-1889, then in both a German and English edition from 1890 for some years until the German was discontinued. As a result of the Old Order Mennonite schism of 1890, the seceding group continued the publication of the Calendar in German, while the Ontario Conference group published in English.
Both groups continued the series numbering to date, counting number 1 as 1836. The German edition title was Calender für die Versammlungen der Mennoniten-Gemeinde in ------- (provincial name changed from "Ober Canada" to "Canada West" and then to "Ontario"). From the beginning the Calendar contained a separate list of all ordained men. In 1917 the minutes and reports of the annual meetings of the Ontario Conference and mission board were added, and later of other organizations.
Of the 1854 eastern Pennsylvania Calendar, the oldest existent was in English (no German edition at any time apparently) bearing the title, Calendar of Mennonite Meetings in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. By 1880, the next existent copy, it was called Meeting Calendar of all the Mennonite Churches in Eastern Pennsylvania (excluding of course other branches but including the Franconia Conference and the Franklin County churches) and carried a complete directory of ordained men with addresses and congregational connections. By 1885 the Washington County, Maryland, district was added. In later years it carried a full calendar of special meetings, ministerial statistics, mission board members' lists, etc., and was edited in 1950 by Ira D. Landis.
In 1872 a Meeting Calendar, of a Part of the Mennonite Churches in the United States with a List of Ministers’ Names and Addresses was published in similar form by J. F. Funk and Bro. at Elkhart, Indiana, called a Supplement to the Herald of Truth and distributed free to all Herald subscribers. Whether further issues appeared is unknown but unlikely. The real continuance of this publication came in the Mennonite Yearbook and Directory, 1905-1997, published by the Mennonite Publishing House (Scottdale, PA), which from the beginning published, along with a ministerial directory with addresses, lists of all (old) Mennonite congregations by conferences together with the ministers attached to each and the "appointments" for Sunday services. This directory of services and ministers continued in 1950s without change even though most congregations met regularly every Sunday. It was unique in Mennonite literature.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 452.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 490-491. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Calendar of Appointments." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C230.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1953). Calendar of Appointments. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C230.html.