Our current congregation was formed from the 1999 merger of Bethany Mennonite Church and Albany Mennonite Church. The best way to get to know who we are is to come for a visit. But here's some
basic info to get you started.
What's a Mennonite?
To put it briefly, Mennonites are a community of Christians who try to follow God in the way demonstrated for us by Jesus Christ.
Mennonites belong to a theological tradition called the 'Anabaptists.' Anabaptists have been around for about 500 years, since the time of the Protestant Reformation. The early Anabaptists believed, among other things, that all people should be able to study the Bible for themselves, that Christians should model their lives after the example of Jesus, that baptism and church membership should be completely voluntary (not coerced by the state), and that Jesus calls his followers to be non-violent peacemakers in the world.
There are currently more than 1.7 million Mennonites worldwide from many different nations, tribes, and ethnicities, all worshipping God in their own languages. Albany Mennonite belongs to the national body Mennonite Church USA, which in turn belongs to an international fellowship of Anabaptist Christians called Mennonite World Conference.
To learn more about who we are as Mennonites, read our "Core Convictions" below or take a look at thirdway.com.
We are followers of Jesus, who we recognize not only as our Savior but also as the supreme example of self-sacrificial love and service whom we are called to imitate.
We believe in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as that which makes it possible for us to live holy lives, following in the way of Jesus, and to participate in the mission of God in the world.
We affirm the importance of community and are committed to caring for each other's needs, living in connection, and discerning matters of faith and life together.
We believe in the authority of Scripture. We take seriously all the teachings of Jesus and particularly emphasize the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) as the guide for how God desires us to live.
We pursue justice for the poor and oppressed. We are committed to standing those whose voices are silenced and to supporting their right to live free from fear, violence, and economic and political oppression.
We believe that Christians are called to a life of non-violence and to pursue peace as a holistic way of living in right relationships. We practice non-violent resistance and choose to trust in God rather than in the taking up of arms.
We seek reconciliation in a world of brokenness (tribal, racial, socio-economic, national, personal). We are committed to dialogue, to loving our enemies, and to restorative justice.
We value a lifestyle of simplicity as a call against unlimited consumerism and strive to care for one another and to live in awareness of the effects our lives have on the earth and on people around the globe.
We recognize the vital centrality of service and of the gospel expressed in concrete action. We take seriously Jesus' example of washing feet as the model of humble Christian service.
We practice adult baptism, and we recognize baptism and church membership as a voluntary commitment to the community of those who seek to walk according to the way of Jesus.