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216 pages, Hardcover
First published August 21, 2018
I have done what the verse from Philippians instructed, which is to think about what is good, what is just, what is pure, and what is excellent. And I have arrived at an answer: pacifism.
My name is August Epp — irrelevant for all purposes, other than that I've been appointed the minute-taker for the women's meetings because the women are illiterate and unable to do it themselves. And as these are the minutes, and I the minute-taker (and as I am a schoolteacher and daily instruct my students to do the same), I feel my name should be included at the top of the page together with the date. Ona Friesen, also of the Molotschna Colony, is the woman who asked me if I'd take the minutes — although she didn't use the world "minutes" but rather asked if I would record the meetings and create a document pertaining to them.
We had this conversation last evening, standing on the dirt path between her house and the shed where I've been lodged since returning to the colony seven months ago. (A temporary arrangement, according to Peters, the bishop of Molotschna. "Temporary" could mean any length of time because Peters isn't committed to a conventional understanding of hours and days. We're here, or in heaven, for an eternity, and that's all we need to know. The main houses in the colony are for families, and I'm alone, so it is possible I may always, forever, live in the shed, which doesn't really bother me. It's bigger than a jail cell and large enough for me and a horse.)