From my sister:
We are two young Mennonites (Brad Miller, Kalona IA and Jessica Yoder, Harrisonburg, VA....now living in Denver CO) who have decided to start a Mennonite online dating website. If you’re interested in joining read on!
Due to the overwhelming success of our own arranged Menno marriage, Brad and I have decided to plunge into the great unknown and spearhead an online dating service for Mennonites. So we're probably not the most qualified people to do this....we're not terribly tech savvy, we have no esteemed role in the Mennonite church, and, duh, we're not single. But both of us have experienced the woes of being lost in the wilderness of dating and appreciate what it's like to spend Friday night eating Ramen noodles alone in a dark, empty apartment. Plus we both have far too many hot, intelligent, single, eligible Mennonite friends who we would love to hook up with each other.
These friends are no strangers to "worldly dating" - they've gone out with Polish models and medschool classmates and Applebees coworkers. They have enjoyed these relationships. But at some gut level they have yearned for a significant other who can sing four part harmony and and pronounce the last name "Swartzendruber" without blinking. Now we're not saying every Mennonite should marry another Mennonite. Maybe it's just not meant to be. But for those who are interested in seeing who's out there in the cyber world of Mennonites, take off your covering and come on in. If nothing else it's an experiment in the explosion of Mennonite convention that might ironically keep the church alive.
So like any good dating service, there are a few rules:
1) You have to be single to join, and you have to have your own profile to see other people's profiles. Ya, so that means no nosy gossipy married or dating Mennonites perusing through pages of MennoMeet members. Also, you need to put your real name on your profile, and a picture.
2) To join, just go to www.MennoMeet.com and request an invitation; or you can just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your email or the names and emails of other Mennonites who might be interested in joining.
3) At least for now, it's limited to Mennonites. Okay, if someone is totally sympathetic to Mennonite values and is basically an honorary Mennonite by virtue of eating 8 Shoo-Fly pies in one shot, mayyybe they can join. And at some point we may add Quakers and Brethren and Amish, haha. But right now, it's for Mennonites.
4) We don’t have an “official” age minimum or maximum, but if you are under 18 you might not want to join just for legal reasons. But suffice to say that our target audience is the post-college crowd…..twentysomethings or thirtysomethings who have yet to find true love.
5) Now I don't know how Match.com or eHarmony or any of those sites work, but here at MennoMeet we're pretty low tech. If you're interested in getting to know someone further, you can either write on their wall (which everyone can see) or send them an email (which is why we included email address in the profile questionaire).
6) If anyone has ideas for improving the site or would like to take some ownership in shaping things, let us know. We actually do have day jobs and might be able to use a little help.
7) Proceed at your own risk. Okay, so there are probably even some weirdo Mennonites out there. We are not responsible for the good, the bad, or the ugly that might ensue (although we'll take the credit for the good). And finally, Brad wrote up a Mission Statement. Thanks
Brad:Let's face it; it's hard to find someone who keeps a straight face when you say you're a pacifist. Most of your friends will never truly understand the concept of four part harmony. Maybe you've given up on finding someone that understands both your faith and your idiosyncrasies, like your motivation for reusing zip locks or your desire to cook more with less. Fifty years ago, Mennonites married their 4th cousin and thought nothing of it. For the most part, our grandparents stayed in the same insular community and only left to attend a Mennonite college or complete their selective service. Today, we've taken a different path. We're involved in everything from the Peace Corps to dental hygiene to tort reform. Many of us chose to focus on our career first and ignore our desire for a significant relationship. Our careers have been fulfilling and have transplanted us in new and exciting places that our grandparents could have never imagined. At the same time, it has been hard for us to find someone that understands our faith based back ground. Often, we think we find someone that is a close fit. They may have an interest in social justice yet cynical of our faith, or, they have an active faith life, but a narrow worldview. A part of us refuses to settle. We want to find someone that not only understands our past, but can understand our future. Sure, finding that person on a social networking site might sound like the antithesis of traditional Mennonite dating, but as the church leaps into the 21st century, so do the ways we meet each other. No longer will we solely meet at youth conventions, Mennonite colleges or our cousin's weddings. Thus, we've created a space where we can all interact. Kind of like one big cyber Mennonite youth convention...without the curfew.