Mennonites are descended from the early Anabaptists who developed on a course parallel to Martin Luther in the 1500s. They, like Luther, believed the Catholic church of their time had lost its way, and they wanted to move their faith back to a closer following of Jesus’ life and words.
Five hundred years later, there are many types of Mennonites, some of which are at times confused with the Amish, another group descended from the early Anabaptists. The congregation of Kidron Mennonite Church is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Its members are not restricted in their choices of vehicles, artistic expression, accessories or clothing.
The hallmark of the Mennonite belief continues to be the honoring of the life and words of Jesus as the example for our everyday living. By looking at Jesus’ life and ministry, we have arrived at other beliefs that are distinctly Mennonite, including:
- The knowledge that deciding whether to become a follower of Christ is a choice that each individual must make. That choice must be made by a person capable of understanding the decision, thus leading to the “Believer’s Baptism” of an older child, teenager or adult, rather than infant baptism.
- The need for a faith community. Believers are forgiven sinners. We need each other as encouragers for life’s journey and partners in God’s work. The faith community is multi-ethnic, global and interdenominational.
- The call to live lives that are different from the world around us. When the world around us urges us to do what is not Christ-like, we are to be faithful to his example, rather than conforming to the world’s sometimes subtle demands.
- A belief that all human life is sacred. Each person on this planet is a child of God. Jesus yearns to bring each one into loving relationship with himself.
- A desire to serve others in the same way that Jesus healed the sick and injured and washed the feet of sinners. Through local acts of service and reconciliation, national-level disaster relief and overseas mission work and disaster response, the people of God are to show Christ’s love to those in need of his healing touch.
- A passion for justice in an unjust world. Christ’s people are compelled to express what God’s intentions for the world were and to seek ways to create justice, close at hand and in a global context.
- A respect for creation as God intended it be and a desire to live within it in a way that brings glory to God. The home that God gave us to dwell in was intended to provide for all humans and creatures. We are caretakers of the Earth which belongs to God.