Every Monday for more than 30 years, the Die Botschaft newspaper has gone into the mailboxes of Amish subscribers nationwide.
Filled with letters from correspondents across the country, the weekly publication prints information from the Amish, for the Amish.
This week's (Oct. 16) issue, though, is an exception. The front page of Die Botschaft reaches out to the English--non-Amish--world.
"Thank You," reads the simple headline at the top of the page.
Under that is a three-paragraph message thanking the state police and emergency crews for their handling of the Oct. 2 Amish school shootings in Lancaster County. Gunman Charles Carl Roberts IV killed five girls and injured five others before killing himself.
The message also thanks members of both the English and Amish communities for their kind acts in the aftermath of the tragedy, and thanks people around the world for their donations and prayers on behalf of the victims and their families.
"It has never happened before. Never. This is very unusual," said the paper's editor, Elam Lapp, when asked when Die Botschaft last printed information aimed at the non-Amish community. The paper is based in Millersburg, about 20 miles north of Harrisburg.
Equally unusual was Lapp's decision to contact a reporter at a non-Amish newspaper, offering a copy of the publication.