Who are the Mennonites?
Mennonites are Christians who…
…strive to follow the example of Jesus in daily life.
We believe that Jesus is not only our Savior, but also our teacher and guide. A key Scripture for Mennonites is the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus explains how his followers should think and act. We believe that the Holy Spirit gives Christians the power to live in a Christ-like way. As a 16th-century Anabaptist, Hans Denck, said, “No one can know Christ unless he (she) follows after him in life.”
…believe we should read Scripture as Jesus did.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus placed his teachings above all others when he repeated the phrase, “You have heard it said…, but I say to you,… .” So if the words and example of Jesus conflict with a verse in the Old Testament or Epistles, we follow Jesus.
…give our allegiance to Jesus, not to a particular nation, clan or region.
As Christians we attempt to follow Jesus’ example of love for all people, even enemies. We believe that the borders of a nation are not the borders of the church. If our loyalty to Christ conflicts with the demands of Caesar, we must obey Christ. While we respect the role that government plays in society, our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus.
…see the church as a place for mutual support and accountability
We believe in a church where adult believers hold one another accountable for faithful living and where children are valued and nurtured in the way of Jesus. We know that following Jesus is only possible in community that constantly challenges us to be Christ-like in our thinking and acting.
…interpret the Bible in community
We encourage all believers to read the Bible and then check their interpretations with fellow Christians. We believe the Holy Spirit is present as we gather to understand and apply the meaning of Scripture.
…believe that the ministry of reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel.
Jesus calls all people to be reconciled with God and each other. We believe that the church, as the body of Christ, is called to continue that ministry of reconciliation with all people, including enemies whom Jesus said to love and pray for. For that reason, most Mennonites reject military service and the “myth of redemptive violence” found in most justifications for participating in war.
…are active peacemakers.
We believe it is important to find nonviolent solutions to conflict, whether between individuals, groups or nations. We promote mediation services and alternatives to the criminal justice system, like victim-offender reconciliation programs. Christian Peacemaker Teams who “get in the way” of violence internationally was an idea initiated by Mennonites that has become an inter-denominational, and inter-faith, effort.
…believe in service to others as a witness to God’s love for the world.
As the body of Christ, we believe Christians are to be his hands and feet in the world. Menno Simons made the connection between faith and action the mark of the true Christian. He said,
“For true evangelical faith…cannot lie dormant, but manifests itself in all righteousness and works of love;…it clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; consoles the afflicted; shelters the miserable; aids and consoles all the oppressed; returns good for evil; serves those that injure it; …seeks that which is lost; binds up that which is wounded; heals that which is diseased and saves that which is sound.”
Disaster relief, voluntary service programs, and raising funds through relief sales are some of the ways that Mennonites live out service to others.
Mennonites believe in living simply.
Following Jesus has economic consequences. Wealth can separate us from God and make us insensitive to the needs of others. Living simply and practicing mutual aid are ways we work to confront consumerism and individualism. The More with Less and Simply in Season cooking and lifestyle books are well known Mennonite attempts to share our vision for simplicity and creation care.
…believe in caring for creation.
God has made us stewards of the earth. We want our actions to have a positive impact on the natural world so that it will be a healthier place for future generations to live.
…are committed to becoming an anti-racist church.
We acknowledge that racism in the church and its structures has hurt us as the body of Christ. We are committed to becoming a church that celebrates ethnic and racial diversity and works toward racial healing.
…welcome you to our fellowship!
In a time of individualism, consumerism and loneliness, Mennonites seek to model a different kind of society – one built on mutual aid, trust, forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation and restitution. We invite you to join us on this journey.