52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 32 – Grace Mennonite Church – Christian

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I was very interested in attending a Mennonite church because the Amish originally split from the Mennonites to start their own religion. Having recently purchased a home in an Amish village in Montana, I was curious.

The older Mennonite women dress in a similar manner to the Amish women. Modest, simple, long skirts, hair in buns with a lacy head covering. The Mennonites are Anabaptists which are Christians who reject infant baptism. They believe that only people who have chosen Christ should be baptised.

The people were very friendly and welcoming to my Mom and me. It is obvious that we are visitors and the smaller the church the more obvious it is. I am at a point in the 52 weeks where I compare and contrast this service and that service and I have begun to categorize churches. What I have found is that the similarities are far greater than the differences. Everything is relative. With that being said, I felt this church was sweet and kind and simple. We were not distracted by picketers or music so loud it was overwhelming. The stained glass was simple, yet elegant. There was a cross and a bible with a beautiful red ribbon near a vase with pretty flowers on an altar. Some of the churches don’t have crosses or alters, they have stages for the band and I often mistake the lead singers for the Pastor as they lead the group in worship through music, prayer and song.

The Mennonite Pastor was a dynamic storyteller who asked us if we are really living a holy life. Are we of this world; do we stoop to worldly things that diminish us subtly day by day? Do we make offerings that are a sacrifice? At the farmers breakfast – Are we an egg (which is an Offering) or are we the bacon (which is a Sacrifice)? He suggested that our will controls our minds and our minds control what we do with our bodies. He asked us to consider that Godly thoughts produce godly deeds and wicked thoughts produce wicked deeds.

The group was of a size that allowed for people to share their concerns and prayer requests with the congregation. I was struck by how much sadness there can be out there. Internally, I was annoyed the car I just bought was not the color I wanted. You pay all that money, you should get the color you want, right? Others were praying for injured friends and family and a child who had died in a snowy car crash back east. I recognized that I am of this world, focused on worldly things and that it is all relative. Today was not my turn for sadness.

I will need to investigate the Theory of Relativism – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativism

This story was given during the service and we found it highly amusing. Apparently is a fictitious story but a fun read nevertheless: http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/atheist.asp

This Battleship / Lighthouse story was also told as an example of our wilfulness: http://juegosbiblicos7.20m.com/about.html

Enjoyed the day, learning a lot and getting to hang out with my Mom along the way.


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