We are known and loved by God. We repeat this frequently to ourselves, especially to our children and youth.
We are about 180 people when we gather. Most gather in the sanctuary although some gather on the livestream. But if everyone came on the same Sunday, we’d be more like 300.
We are over 85 years old. The church was founded near Dillerville Road on the north edge of Lancaster in 1934 as Dillerville Mission. As the group that met on Sunday afternoons grew, the Sunday School became North End Mennonite Church. In 1971 the church moved into its current building and in 1981 was renamed Blossom Hill Mennonite Church.
We value our children and youth as an important part of our congregation. We are committed to nurturing children and youth in ways that honor their uniqueness, and challenge them to learn to know Jesus, and how to be part of a community.
We are fully inclusive. We welcome the involvement of all persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ, are committed to a life of Christian discipleship, and desire membership in a Mennonite congregation. As a faith community committed to reconciliation, we welcome those who may have been excluded in the past because of race, age, economic background, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability. In 2021 we voted to become a fully inclusive congregation of LGBTQ+ individuals who are welcome to participate in the full life and ministry of our congregation, including membership, baptism, marriage, leadership, and pastoral ministry.
We do many things during the week. We are teachers, business people, students, church agency workers, nurses, mid-wives, doctors, retirees, chaplains, maintenance workers, social workers, volunteers, administrators, missionaries, stay-at-home parents, computer gurus, and some other things.
We have lived in many places. Many members of the congregation have spent time living in other countries as missionaries or relief workers. A few others travel regularly in their work with church agencies. It is not unusual to hear directly from another part of the world on Sunday morning.
We’re not afraid to admit it when our faith is weak, or our doubts feel bigger than what we are sure of. Faith questions are welcomed. We find that it actually takes more faith to not know for sure… and yet believe, hope, and depend on God.
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. Finding time to practice seems to be the biggest problem.
We like to eat together. On the 2nd Sunday of every month, we have a pot-luck (everyone bring something) meal together following our worship service.
We do not hear the same person preach every week. The lead pastor preaches only two Sundays a month, and so we hear other voices from the congregation regularly, as well as guest speakers from beyond our congregation.
We believe that we are called to undo systems of racial injustice. We work hard at educating ourselves about racial injustice and white privilege. We share stories about how we work at this in our everyday lives so we can learn from each other and challenge each other. We know we have much to learn but are committed to doing the hard work.
We believe that God intended for all of humankind to live together in peace. And we believe that in order for that to happen, we must be committed to being peacemakers in the world. That means we take the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount seriously, so that loving our enemies becomes our goal rather than killing them, or even hating them. We are conscientious objectors to war. We make this commitment only because of God’s grace and mercy.
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.