Stewarding our Theological History: What do we do with our Anabaptist Heritage?

Now that we’ve spent September defining Stewardship - nurturing what God has entrusted to us so that we can enjoy it together - it’s time to delve into our first topic: Theological History. Our theological history goes all the way back to Jesus, and we’ll delve into that later, but this month’s focus will be specifically on Anabaptist and Mennonite history. What does the Anabaptist and Mennonite story have to offer us? How can we nurture it? And how do we enjoy it together?

I’ve become all too aware of how divided people in Mennonite churches can feel when it comes to theological history. Is our theological history only for the Swiss-Germans or Russians among us who can trace their family lines back to some of the original Anabaptist martyrs? Sometimes it feels that way. I lament that sometimes cradle Mennonites (such as myself) act that way - but it can’t be further from the truth!

Anabaptists from the start were all about choice. They believed people should be able to express the faith they’ve chosen - not one thrust upon them at birth. That’s why we practice adult baptism instead of infant baptism. So if our faith is a choice and not a birthright, then that means Anabaptist and Mennonite history is the history of everyone who has CHOSEN to follow Jesus and to be baptized into a community of faith. That sounds like everyone at Lima Mennonite Church.

I hope we can embrace this rich, storied Anabaptist and Mennonite history as something God has entrusted to ALL of us who have chosen as adults to follow Jesus. I hope we learn more about it together this month, and that most of all, we can enjoy it as a treasure to be cherished from God’s great store of abundance.

Part of that enjoyment is dinner and discussion with me (Emily) every Sunday after attending the 4pm events at Bluffton University. I encourage all of you to get to at least one!