We are part of Central District Conference; The CDC is an affiliation of 40 congregations from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia, Minnesota, Florida and Virginia. We are one of 21 conferences that make up Mennonite Church USA, which was formed in 2002 by the merger of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church. We share a common mission the congregations of the Central District:
- Promoting a Christ-like community of hospitality where grace-filled relationships flourish, and patience and generosity are practiced.
- Calling and nurturing wise, dynamic and compassionate Anabaptist leadership.
- Supporting missional partnerships that make God’s reign visible and fostering ministries of evangelism, healing and hope.
KNOWING CHRIST’S LOVE. . . ANSWERING GOD’S CALL
In October of 2007, a group of Anabaptist believers in Berne, Indiana, began to “wonder aloud” about beginning a fellowship guided by the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. We understand confessions of faith as mile markers on our journey, providing us an “updated interpretation of belief and practice in the midst of changing times” (Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, 1995, p. 8). We continue to reference the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective as one of our foundational documents. At the same time, we are open to and grateful for the Spirit’s leading into new understandings of faithful witness to the way of Jesus in 2016 and beyond.
This small group met monthly for worship and to ponder the possibilities of forming a new fellowship. Our first formal worship was held in January of 2008, and by August of the same year, we began meeting weekly for worship. The Fellowship seeks to be a Christian community of love and service, sharing the Good News of shalom as we invite people to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Led by the Spirit, we seek to participate in the Kingdom of God, known to us through Jesus, reconciling and restoring all things in Christ. Our mission is to share with others the gift of God’s love through worship, witness and life together.
Just like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, (Luke 24), we recognize that we continue on a journey toward greater recognition of the Spirit of Jesus among us. We are grateful for God’s unending gifts of grace and peace as together we share life’s joys and sorrows. We invite anyone who is interested in discovering a faith in an Anabaptist perspective, who is attracted to reflective, engaging worship, and who longs for participation in a committed, caring community, to come and worship with us.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
The Center of Our Faith
We identify ourselves as Christians with an Anabaptist perspective on faith and life. (There’s more explanation about that in the link below.) We often speak of these three core values as we discuss the meaning of Scripture for our lives today and as we make decisions.
Our Core Values
- Jesus is the center of our faith.
- Community is the center of our lives.
- Reconciliation is the center of our work.
For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid down, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11
What is an Anabaptist Christian
by Palmer Becker
Christians with an Anabaptist perspective on faith and life have existed from the very beginning of the Christian era. Even today, in nearly every group of churches and perhaps in nearly every congregation, there are people who have understandings of the Christian faith similar to those held in the Anabaptist tradition. Anabaptist is a way of being Christian. Just as there are Anglican, Baptist and Lutheran Christians, so there are Anabaptist Christians.“ Anabaptist” is an invented name meaning “re-baptizers.” It was given to 16th-century Christians who saw little value in infant baptism and, therefore, baptized each other as adults upon confession of faith. These Anabaptist Christians were the forerunners of today’s Mennonite Christians and many others in the Free Church tradition. Anabaptist/Mennonite Christians hold many beliefs in common with other believers. They believe in a personal three-in-one God who is
both holy and gracious, in salvation by grace through repentance and faith, in the humanity and divinity of Jesus, in the inspiration and authority of Scripture, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in thechurch as the body of Christ. But they often hold these convictions somewhat differently than others.
Anabaptists are sometimes identified as the left wing of the Protestant Reformation. They rose up in a time of social and economic upheaval and were intent on carrying further the reformation begun by Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin. Christians of an Anabaptist perspective have throughout history placed strong emphasis on following Jesus in daily life, being covenanted with each other in Christ-centered community, and seeking to overcome conflict in nonviolent ways. Read more…
Missio Dei Copyright © 2008 by Mennonite Mission Network, Revised edition, 2010.
Where do we meet?
We gather each Sunday morning at the South Adams Senior Center, 825 Hendricks Street, in Berne, Indiana. Located on the east side of Lehman Park, we enjoy the sun rising across the fields on one side and the woods on the other. It is an accessible space with lots of parking and a drive which makes getting in and out of the building easier during inclement weather. The facilities are handicapped accessible. Once indoors, we work together to transform the Center into a fellowship & worship space. It works great!
When do we meet?
Our Sojourners Study hour begins at 9:00 a.m. Worship is at 10:00 a.m. Set-up begins at 8:30 a.m. When set-up is finished, the coffee is ready and we enjoy visiting as we gather.
What should I expect?
We’re a warm and friendly group. You can expect to be welcomed by nearly everyone. We use computer and projector from time to time in our study hour; only rarely in the worship hour.
We think of ourselves as worshiping in a gentle, reverent manner, yet flexible when circumstances surprise us. Laughter is welcome! We share in leading the various aspects of study and worship.
Dress is as suits each one of us; you may see people wearing khaki shorts and others a sports coat & tie. As study and worship resources, we most often use Menno-Media publications, including The Hymnal: A Worship Book and Sing the Journey. Almost every week, we share the Bread & Cup. We are strengthened by this shared meal and invite guests to join us in this sign of Jesus’ love and tenderness as we seek to remember and practice his command to love God and neighbor.
We don’t have many programs or committees. We view our daily lives as places of service and witness. Through fellowship, study and worship we seek renewal and encouragement to “be the Gospel” in our homes, communities and places of employment.
Our church structure is simple. Our Visioning Committee meets monthly to tend to details – great and small. Decisions other than “housekeeping” details are made together in our quarterly Fellowship Forums. Every vantage point is valued and with the help of a “talking piece” we work to ensure that each person has opportunity to speak. We take turns serving on a two-year term on the Visioning Committee.