Mennonites

By: Raven Maine

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Mennonites? What the heck is that?

Founded in the sixteenth century by Menno Simons in Friesland, Netherlands, the religion of the Mennonites has about 346,000 followers. Primarily, Mennonites emphasize the teaching of Jesus, their core beliefs deriving from Anabaptist traditions. However, there are specific reasons as to why Menonites do not identify as devout Christians or even Anabaptist Christians.

Seven Priorities

Christian Formation: People are taught the word of Jesus Christ, how to embrace scripture, help them develop their identity, and get their vocational calling.

Christian Community: Congregations worship together, practice scripture, have Christ-centered unity, and learn agreeing and disagreeing in love.
Holistic Christian Witness: To share the good word of Jesus Christ. It reflects God's coming reign by striving for justice and peace.

Stewardship: Reflects the act to surrender all they have for the sake of God. It is a care for creation, whole-life stewardship, and a practice for mutual aid.
Leadership development: To develop leaders at all levels of the church.
Undoing Racism and Advancing Intercultural Transformation: Dismantle individual and racism in the church. The goal is to develop competence, heal racial divisions, and value all gifts of God.
Church-to-Church relationships: Reflect the desire to give and receive gifts in the body of Christ, while also work toward unity as a witness to the world.

Why aren't Mennonites mainstream?

Unlike many devout Christians, most Mennonites are okay with things in the LGBTQ community. In fact some Mennonite pastors have performed same sex marriages in the church, however not all Mennonites are okay with this. Many traditional Mennonites are strict when it comes to biblical teachings.

The Mennonites are mostly known for their Pacifism, meaning they don't believe that violence is the answer. They are committed to this idea.

Holidays, rituals, rites? Give us some information here

Christmas- On December 25, traditional Mennonite families will attend a morning church service in honor of the birth of Christ. Some will set the following two days for church and family gatherings, while other families set up large bowls on Christmas eve, parents then place gifts in them for children.

Epiphany- On the sixth of January, traditional Mennonites go to a church service to commemorate the three wise men who came to visit Jesus.

Good Friday/Easter- Good Friday is celebrated to reflect on the Death of Christ, while Easter Sunday is celebrated for Jesus' resurrection.

Ascension Day- On the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday, Mennonites have morning church services in honor of Jesus' ascension into the heavens after he had finished work on Earth.

Pentecost- On the seventh Sunday after Easter, Mennonites go to morning services in celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Funerals- With funerals it isn't uncommon for people that are not related to the family whatsoever to attend community funerals

Butchering- Many Mennonites butcher and process their own livestock.

Halloween- Most Mennonites don't celebrate Halloween as it is seen as Satan's Day. Children of the Mennonite religion are discouraged to participate in this holiday. As an alternative they might have an Autumn Harvest Festival.

Convention and Faith Formation: KC2015

Convention

Convention is a giant gathering of Mennonites around the United States. Everyone comes together to perform worship, learn, recognize, and share faith and personal happenings.

Citations:

1. "Mennonite Church USA." Mennonite Church USA. N.p., 2014. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

2. Smith, Jeff. "4 Beliefs That Set Mennonites Apart From Other Christians."Newsmax. N.p., 02 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

3. "Epiphany in Canada." Epiphany in Canada. Time and Date, 1995. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.