Mennonites have been around for close to 500 years. We began as a movement that insisted that no one could be born into the church. We believe that the church is a community of believers who choose to turn over their lives to Jesus Christ and be baptized to symbolize that commitment. Together, we strive to live out a new way of life in which Jesus is Lord above all nationalism, materialism or selfish pursuit.
Mennonites are often associated with Old Order Mennonites and Amish, who still attempt to live simply in farming communities, sometimes without the use of automobiles or electrical power. However, most Mennonites don’t live this way. We make full use of technology and dress like most people. You’ll find vibrant and growing Mennonite congregations everywhere, from small towns and cities to nearly every major urban center in North America, as well as in many countries of the world.
Mennonites share essential core beliefs with many other Christians. We believe that Jesus is the full embodiment of God’s love, sent to bring reconciliation to a broken world. We believe the Bible is inspired by God and is central to our faith and living out God’s will. We believe God forgives us when we respond with repentance, loyalty, and trust. As a part of our faith, Mennonites value service to those in need rather than the pursuit of wealth, fame or power.
Mennonites are, perhaps, best known for our commitment to non-violence and peacemaking. Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies and respond to aggression with positive action. We believe that God defeats evil with sacrificial and unconditional love, and that we should follow God. We see peace building as an achievable way of life. Mennonites have become increasingly recognized as leaders in the art of conflict resolution - even on an international scale. We have been involved in helping different groups talk with each other in East Africa, Northern Ireland and Central America. We were involved in some of the early developments in offender-victim reconciliation organizations in United States and Canada, and the promotion of restorative justice as a way of responding to criminal and antisocial activity.
Mennonites believe we gain strength from God’s Spirit as we come together in community. Discipleship is a shared journey. Our congregations provide communities of shared worship, support and accountability. Mennonite congregations are like caring families, and visitors are always welcome.
Mennonites in the United States are becoming increasingly multicultural and multiracial. Though the majority of Mennonites are still middle class, suburban whites, about 20% in the United States are Hispanic, African American and Asian. Mennonite diversity is best represented on a global level, where Africans and South Americans comprise the majority of the 1.7 million Mennonites worldwide.
In an era of mass marketing, uncontrolled consumerism, loneliness and growing violence, Mennonites are working to create a sense of community for ourselves and for our neighbors. We believe the best response to cynicism, doubt and isolation is to invite friends and strangers to share our optimism, hope and community with us. We are an open group, and you are welcome to join us!
Mennonite Church USA. (for general information)
Third Way Cafe (for Mennonite practices)
Mennonite Peace and Justice Support Network. (for Peace and Justice activities)
Mennonite World Conference. (for information about the Mennonite World Conference)