Beliefs that are important to us
There are some beliefs that matter to us a lot. We don’t own them,
we weren’t the first Christians to come up with them and we aren’t
the only ones to hold them. In fact, for some (such as non-violence and service)
you don’t even have to be a follower of Christ to believe them. We should also
add that not all people who call themselves ‘Mennonite’ follow every single
one of these beliefs. But these are the beliefs that are important to us.
Here are a few highlights
Along with most all other Christians we believe in the Creeds,
and so we believe in God the Father, the Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.
We believe that being a Christian is primarily about following Jesus
(‘discipleship’ is a very important word around here)
We believe that Spirituality is earthy and physical - therefore
it is important that we live what we believe. For us, following Jesus
means not only that we ‘believe’ certain things about him,
but that we follow Jesus’ teachings - another way of saying
this might be to say that if a person isn’t living it,
then they may not necessarily believe it.
We believe that God has intended for us to follow Jesus together
with one another. We were not meant to live our faith in
isolation, but together (‘in community’) with other followers of Christ.
We believe that the bible matters, and that how we read it matters -
when Mennonites read the bible they start with Jesus.
We believe that everything that we read in the bible leads up
to him, and is also interpreted and understood in light of him.
Where much of the Western Church reads Paul first and then
interprets Jesus, Mennonites read Jesus first and then interpret
the rest of the New and Old Testament in light of Jesus.
We believe that serving our fellow person matters. All people are
made by a loving God in God’s image, and God wants us to serve one another.
We believe that non-violence is God’s and Jesus way for us.
Jesus taught it, modeled it, and wants us to live it.
A Brief History
At Bethany Mennonite Church we acknowledge that the land on which we live, work, worship, and prosper is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Attawandaron and other nations. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement.
Our ancestors and we came to this land seeking to escape oppression and economic deprivation, and found in Canada a place to thrive and prosper in peace and security. And we have come to realize that we have prospered by policies and practices that have marginalized and devastated those who first inhabited this place.
As followers of Jesus ‘the love of Christ urges us on’ to pursue justice for our indigenous neighbours and friends. “In Christ Jesus God has reconciled us to himself, giving us the ministry of reconciliation”, and there is no greater need or work for reconciliation than with those who first inhabited these lands. (2 Corinthians 5:14,18)
With this acknowledgement we commit ourselves to working for justice for the indigenous peoples in Canada. We seek their respect, dignity and equality in all things.
Bethany was begun in 1965 in Virgil Ontario when
our sister church Niagara United Mennonite Church
was filled to over-capacity. After discussions at several
congregational meetings 144 members of the Niagara
congregation covenanted together to form the nucleus
of a new congregation. Some land was bought at the
corner of East & West Line and Creek Rd, and the name
of ‘Bethany Mennonite Church’ was chosen. The sod for
the new building was turned in April, 1965, and the young
congregation worshiped in the basement of their now
sister-church as the church was built. The first service
was held in the basement on October 30th, 1965 and we celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2015.