Bethany Mennonite Church is an intimate ecumenical gathering in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. We began as a small group of five families who followed a call to move here from PA in the early 1950’s. We are currently led by Gwen Groff.
We foster a healthy awareness of the broader Christian faith as it relates to our global community. We are excited about Jesus Christ. We celebrate the transcendence of his birth. We marvel at the complex grace of his time on Earth. We rejoice in the solemn beauty of his death and resurrection. We are excited about continuing His story of a deep love for the women and men around him, as we live and work here in a quiet corner of the world being the hands, feet, body and blood of the Word-made-Flesh.
We come from all walks of life. We come from all political persuasions. We come from all economic backgrounds. Our common theme is our deep love of the way of Jesus. We love to sing together. We love to eat together. We love to camp together. Our children are important to us. That they have a safe place to seek out their Creator is tantamount to our existence as a body of faith.
In light of all of this, we see ourselves as good soil- no more and no less. Good things grow here.
We are well-loved children of God. Sometimes we know that, and sometimes we don’t. When we know it, we are humbled and nourished and eager to love as God loves. When we don’t know it, we listen poorly, work too hard and strive to be better than we are.
We are Mennonites. We are members of Franconia Conference (locally), Mennonite Church USA (denominationally), andMennonite World Conference (globally). Theologically, we are guided by Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective.
We are about 50 people when we gather. But if everyone came on the same Sunday, we’d be more like 80.
We do many things during the week. We are teachers, business people, students, church agency workers, nurses, cooks, mid-wives, retirees, inventors, maintenance workers, administrators, stay-at-home Moms and Dads, computer gurus, librarians, and some other things.
We are single and married. We try not to be couple oriented, but to welcome the participation and voices of all, regardless of marital status.
We like to sing. Much of our singing is 4-part a cappella, but it is not unusual for there to be piano, guitar or drumming accompaniment. Musicians abound among us.
We like to eat together. Our quarterly meetings begin with a pot-luck (everyone bring something) meal together following our worship service.
We do not hear the same person preach every week. Our pastor preaches three Sundays a month, and so we hear other voices from the congregation regularly, as well as guest speakers from beyond our congregation.
We feel responsible to care for God’s good earth. We try to live gently and simply on the earth. We made decisions while building our new space with the environment in mind. We strive to adjust our lifestyles according to this commitment.
We are judgement-free. Well that’s impossible actually! But we take seriously the words of Jesus and apply them to ourselves when he says “let those without sin throw the first stone.”