So, what does Mennonite mean?... This is a common question!
Mennonites draw water from a stream Christian faithfulness that has its historical roots in the 16th century Anabaptist movements in Europe. Through the centuries, we have brought forward certain gifts - values and practices - from that stream and developed new ones. These have consistently been:
An emphasis on communal (as opposed to merely individual) discipleship to Jesus’ way of living and his teachings. At our best, we work to build a life together that is marked by mutual aid, equity, and justice.
Church as a voluntary association of disciples whom the Spirit draws together in worship and a commitment to loving each other, learning together, and pursuing the way of Jesus together in our own fellowship and in relation to our community and the world.
A commitment to peacemaking and non-violent engagement in a conflicted world.
Here are some resources that you may find useful to increase your sense of what it can mean to be Mennonite:
The Third Way website, which offers theological and practical resources regarding Mennonite faithfulness
This booklet by Palmer Becker, “What is an Anabaptist Christian?”
An Article on Peacebuilding in an “Enemy Context by Peter Dula about the work of the Mennonite Central Committee (a Mennonite relief and outreach organization) in Iraq.
An article on the complicated question of “Mennonite Identity” by Isaac Villegas