What do we believe?
For more information on the faith and practices of the Mennonite Church, visit http://mennoniteusa.org/what-we-believe/
Stephens City Mennonite Church
is a member of the
Virginia Mennonite Conference.
Virginia Mennonite Conference, a member of Mennonite Church USA, equips pastors, lay leaders, and congregants to support worship, mission, and service for Jesus Christ and to bring Good News to the world in which we live.
The Spirit of God enables Virginia Mennonite Conference to empower communities of faith to follow the way of Jesus Christ.
Who Are the Mennonites?
Mennonites are a branch of the Christian church, with roots in the radical wing of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Part of the group known as Anabaptists (because they rebaptized adult believers), the Mennonites took their name from Menno Simons, a Dutch priest who converted to the Anabaptist faith and helped lead it to prominence in Holland by the mid-16th century.
Modern day Mennonites number almost 1 million worldwide, with churches in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Mennonites are known for their emphasis on issues such as peace, justice, simplicity, community, service, and mutual aid.
In keeping with their spiritual roots, Mennonites still believe in the close textual readings of the Scriptures and a personal spiritual responsibility as the basis of their faith. Radical from the beginning, but later considered conservative in many of their beliefs, Mennonites have come to represent a spectrum of backgrounds and beliefs. Pacifism is one of the cornerstones of the Mennonite faith, prompting many young Mennonites to elect service to the church rather than military service.
The Mennonite church emphasizes service to others as an important way of expressing one’s faith. A large number of Mennonites spend part of their lives working as missionaries or volunteers helping those in need, nationally or internationally, through agencies such as Mennonite Mission Network or Mennonite Central Committee.
Today large Mennonite populations can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas, although Mennonites live in all parts of the United States and the world.
The Amish, who separated from the Mennonites in the late 1600′s, are widely known for their plain dress and rejection of modern technology and conveniences. Unlike the Mennonites, they form an exclusive and tight-knit community, with the church dictating much of what may or may not be done.
While certain conservative branches of the Mennonite church still dress simply and require women to wear head coverings, Mennonites generally are not culturally separatist, choosing to embrace the larger communities outside of their church rather than forming a separate community around the church.