We commit ourselves to community, simplicity, peace and service in the Spirit of Christ.
“…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5
FMC WELCOMING STATEMENT
We are an open and affirming congregation which seeks to live the teachings of Jesus.
We believe every person is created uniquely in the image of God, and we — regardless of these unique differences — welcome all into our church family.
We welcome persons of every gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, age, physical or emotional ability, immigration status, economic situation, and family composition.
We welcome persons regardless of where they may be on their spiritual journey.
We invite all to participate in the full life and ministry of our church (i.e., baptism, communion, marriage, leadership).
We believe that historical oppression continues, and we commit to continued discussion on how to recognize and stop our own oppressive acts.
Our desire is to embrace all in the name of Christ.
“We believe there are hidden seeds of greater wholeness in everyone and everything.”
Rachel Naomi Remen
First Mennonite Church Denver began in 1941 with 25 members organizing to provide a spiritual home for southern Colorado health workers serving with Denver area health institutions. During the war years, the church grew as a number of Mennonite men came to Denver for alternative service to war. Many of these men were employed in medical and mental health capacities. Over the years, First Mennonite has continued in its mission by providing a church home for Mennonites in the Denver area, and for others who are attracted to the Anabaptist-Mennonite heritage and way of life. The church also supports and is involved in a variety of missions to give aid to those in need locally and abroad. These include the direct assistance for rent and utilities, housing and meeting space for a number of urban organizations, and supporting Colorado Circles for Change. This congregation enjoys celebratory worship, Biblical and contemporary preaching, and a wide variety of music, including adult and youth choirs, a cappella singing, and a range of instrumental participation. Social interaction opportunities in this congregation include small group meetings, carry-in meals, special interest groups, Sunday morning education classes for all ages, Sunday morning coffee fellowship, team and committee work and various special events from week to week and throughout the year.
The Mennonite story begins during the years of the Reformation. Two years after Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Ulrich Zwingli began to preach reformation to the German Swiss in Zurich. Several of his students became impatient with the pace of reform. While Zwingli was willing to work with the Zurich town council in the timing of reforms, Zwingli’s students felt there could be no delay in bringing in what they saw as biblical truth. These former priests, monks, and university students were especially concerned about the Lord’s supper and baptism. Some of the more well-known ones were Conrad Grebel, Felix Mantz, and George Blaurock.
Regarding the Lord’s supper, Zwingli’s students wanted to see all people gathered equally around the table taking both bread and wine, rather than the then common priestly practice of serving only the bread to all, and that rarely, making the supper primarily a distant spectacle rather than a meal of fellowship.
Baptism, however, became the most inflammatory point of difference between Zwingli and his students. The students began to pursue the idea of adult baptism, arguing that babies cannot profess faith and therefore should not receive the mark of faith. The goal was to affirm a renewed and heartfelt faith among thoughtful believers, rather than the automatic religiosity of the empire. Therefore, in 1525, Zwingli’s students began to re-baptize, affirming a conscious and chosen faith. Thus they were named Anabaptists which means re-baptizers.
Eventually, the reformers’ work addressed other biblical issues as well, including ethical reform of church leadership and rejection of violence for followers of Christ.
For their efforts, the Anabaptists were harshly persecuted. Burned and drowned, 5,000 died in the first few generations. This story is chronicled in the Martyrs Mirror. But the movement spread throughout Europe. By 1535, a priest named Menno Simons turned to the Anabaptist reform. In the Netherlands, he began the work of encouraging and organizing the persecuted church. Due to his vigorous work, the movement came to be called by his name, Mennonite.
Over the years, the Mennonites have been known as hard-working farmers who refuse to fight in nations’ wars but who make a contribution through honesty and industry. In the 21st century, Mennonites are present all over the world, with Africa as the fastest growing area of the church.
Mennonites share Anabaptist roots with the Amish, Church of the Brethren, and Brethren in Christ. Modern expressions of Anabaptist church life range all the way from rejection of modern clothing and technology and a life of separate simplicity to full participation in the complex professions of contemporary society; from a Midwest farmer, to an European architect; from the African chieftain, to the South American sociologist. There are about one million Mennonites in 61 countries around the world.
In 2001 at a denominational convention in Nashville, TN, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church merged to form the new Mennonite Church USA. This ended a 120-year division between these groups. Denominational conventions are held every two years in conjunction with youth and children’s conventions.
Prior to this merger, in 1995 in Wichita, KS, these two bodies adopted a new Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective which is a summary of Mennonite theology, spirituality, and ethics.
In the beginning of this century there are more Mennonites in Africa, Asia, and South America than in North America. In this changing relationship, Mennonites increasingly confront questions of nationalism, racism, and economic inequities. Mennonites continue to stress peacemaking and faith-community building.
Read more about Anabaptists and Mennonites at thirdway.com.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the relief and development arm of the church
Mennonite Mission Network (MMN), Mennonite Mission Network exists to lead, mobilize and equip the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ in a broken world
Everence, credit union that provides financial services rooted in shared faith values
Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA), a business and leaders group dedicated to encouraging financial growth in areas of need around the world
Mennonite World Conference, the global community of Anabaptist related churches