Located in the town of Vineland, Ontario, we are a small, friendly, inter-generational church in the Anabaptist tradition that worships God and together seeks to follow Jesus’ example. We have a long history—we were the first Mennonite church in Canada. On this site you can learn about the people and the work of our church, find directions to our facility, and learn about our history. You are welcome to join us!
Worship Service at 11:00 Sunday mornings (10:30 a.m. 1st Sunday in July through Labour Day) Sunday School for all ages begins at 10:00, except in summer. Hope to see you there!
Pot-luck lunch usually on the first Sunday of the month (except in July/Aug)
3557 Rittenhouse Rd, Vineland (see directions page for details)
Back during our Christmas series of Let It Be, we looked at the opening lines of Mark’s gospel, and we talked about how Mark’s Gospel gets circulated around the time of the First Jewish-Roman War, sometime around 50-70 AD.
Interestingly, Mark’s Gospel shows Jesus starting his ministry in the northern region of Galilee in what is now modern-day Israel. This is where many residents were actually strongly resistant to Roman rule during the First Jewish-Roman War. Mark begins his gospel in a region where many people were anxious to participate in the First Jewish-Roman war.
Galilee was known for its farming and its fishing. Its population was largely a community of peasants that enjoyed none of the benefits that Rome would often bestow on Jewish religious and political elites in the south of Judea. Their labour would fuel an economy that largely kept them in the lowest strata of Palestinian Jewish society.
So Mark’s Gospel begins in an area that felt the pain and oppression of Roman occupation (a pain that fuelled a lot of recruitment into the first Jewish-Roman War) and it begins in an area of low importance. Jesus’ movement begins amongst a place and a people of nobodies.
This is where Jesus makes the declaration At last the time has come!..The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!
From April to May of this year, several Mennonites, and individuals of various spiritual and personal persuasions, marched from Kitchener to Ottawa to raise awareness and draw attention to the well-being of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Among them was Brad Leitch, who you might recall from our viewing of Reserve 107, also back in May. Brad chronicled and produced a short film to tell the story of this Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights. And you can check it out for free below!
As we move into Week 2 of our current series Every Creature Singing, here is a talk given by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe recently at Canadian Mennonite University. Katherine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University who is particularly known for her efforts to educate Christians on issues such as climate change. In this talk, Katharine outlines some of the ideas that we will look at this upcoming Sunday; namely, how climate change and other environmental crises disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless. How do followers of Jesus respond to the stories and the science that Katharine presents here?
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This Sunday, we switch gears to return to a familiar topic for those of us at The First Mennonite Church: the relationship between our environment and our faith. For many of us at The First Mennonite, it is important that conversations about nature and our faith do not become a novelty item. It’s important that our conversations do not become one-off moments where we pat ourselves on the back for having the right theology, but then quickly forget about them two or three years down the road; and we never really change.
So starting this Sunday, we’re going to take a look at a recent publication by Mennonite Creation Care Network and writer Jennifer Halteman Schrock called Every Creature Singing: Embracing the Good News for the Planet Earth. Over the course of this series, we will discuss biblical and theological ideas about environmentalism and faith; learn about our local Niagara ecology or watershed, and explore both spiritual and household practices for connecting with and stewarding all creation around us.
Let me kick things off for us by sharing a story from author Peter Rollins, whose Atheism for Lent series was a focus for us leading into Easter. In this story, Peter describes a world where spiritual animals come to the animals of the physical world not so they can save the physical world, but so they can be saved by the physical world. Peter’s suggestion is that we learn how to love and how to extend grace and compassion not through the abstract idealism of spirituality, but through the earthy struggles and challenges of all nature and creation around us. We learn about the true nature of life through the reality of all nature and creation around us.
Check out this podcast from Mennonite Church Canada’s Church Matters where Dan Dyck interviews Kathleen Vitt and Henry Neufeld on their participation in the upcoming Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights, organized by Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemakers Team. From April 23 – May 15, pilgrims will walk from Kitchener to Ottawa in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; educating people and building awareness of this conversation.