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Who are the Mennonites?

Priorities adopted by Mennonite Church USA to guide our work as a denomination: (Pittsburgh 2011)

  1. Christian Formation This first and highest priority commits us to fashion and mold our lives after that of Jesus Christ. As the sent One of God, Jesus sends us into the world. As missional communities, our congregations, conferences, and agencies will ensure that people are invited to make a commitment to Christ, discipled in the way of Christ, taught to engage with the scriptures, helped to develop Christian identity from an Anabaptist/Mennonite perspective, and given the capacity to cultivate their vocational calling. (Matthew 28:18‐20, Romans 8:28‐30, Colossians 1:28‐29, 2 Timothy 1:5; Articles 17 and 18, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)
  2. Christian Community As a sign and foretaste of God’s coming Kingdom, our church communities serve as a vital part of our witness in the world. As communities in God’s mission, we will strengthen the organic nature of the body of Christ and enhance our witness through worshipping together, extending hospitality, practicing scriptural discernment, cultivating Christcentered unity and learning to agree and disagree in love. (1 Corinthians 12:12‐14, Colossians 3:12‐17, Philippians 3:7; Articles 14 and 16, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)
  3. Holistic Christian Witness The church exists for the task of bearing witness to the coming of Christ’s kingdom in the world. As missional communities we will share the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, reproduce ourselves in new communities of faith and reflect the reign of God by striving for peace and justice. (Matthew 12:15‐21, Luke 4:18‐21, John 20:21‐22; Articles 10 and 22, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)
  4. Stewardship In his words and practices, Jesus modeled an understanding that God is the Lord of all life. Thus, we are called to be stewards of the resources that God has generously entrusted to us for the sake of God’s purposes in the world. As missional communities we will assist every participant in our congregations to cultivate a healthy whole‐life stewardship, to care for creation, to practice mutual aid and to be generous in ways which reflect the generosity of God. (Psalm 24:1‐2, Proverbs 22:6‐7, Luke 19:1‐10, 2 Corinthians 8:5‐7, 13‐15; 9:6‐15; Article 21, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)
  5. Leadership Development The church calls forth leaders as prompted by God to inspire the congregation for its evangelizing mission in the world and to ensure that every member/ participant in the faith community is empowered, equipped and supported for their unique vocation in witness. As missional communities we will develop leaders at all levels of the church, helping every member to reach their God‐given potential as they follow Christ’s call. (Exodus 18:13‐23, Ephesians 4:7‐16; Article 15, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)
  6. Undoing Racism and Advancing Intercultural Transformation Racism, antipathy and alienation among different cultural groups stand in the way of Christ’s kingdom of love, justice and peace. As missional communities we will seek to dismantle individual and systemic racism in our church. We will also seek to develop intercultural competence, which means that we intend to heal racial divisions learn to live and work in a multicultural context, and value all the gifts of God’s diverse people. We envision people of many nations, tribes, people and languages as participants in the kingdom of God. We believe it is Jesus, pictured as the Lamb, who calls people together from all nations. (Acts 10, Galatians 3:25-29, Ephesians 2:15; Revelation 7:9, Article 9, 203 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective).
  7. Church‐to‐Church Relationships The unity of Christ’s church is hindered when any particular communion remains disengaged and isolated from others who belong to the same Body of Christ. In a world of global economic disparity and vast cultural differences, our unity in the church bears witness to an alternate reality where we feel each other’s pain and rejoice when others rejoice. As missional communities we will learn and grow through interaction with other Christian fellowships. We will cultivate a particularly close relationship with Mennonite Church Canada, since we share a common confession of faith, a common ministerial polity, and many joint ministry ventures. (Ephesians 4:4‐6, Revelation 5:9‐10; Article 9, Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective)