Our Faith




OUR FAITH

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR BELIEFS, CONVICTIONS, AND OUR HISTORY

ABOUT US


Foothills Mennonite Church is an Anabaptist Christian faith community that desires to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are a diverse community of faith drawn together around the person and work of Jesus.  Our understanding is that God is most fully revealed in Jesus. Jesus through God’s Spirit empowers us as we seek to live into the vision of the peace/shalom of God on earth.

We strive to always hold our beliefs with an open mind –seeking to welcome questions, doubts, and uncertainty while sharing that conviction that Jesus is still good news for all people.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free… Luke 4:18

 

Foothills Mennonite Church belongs to a stream of the Christian tradition known as Anabaptism that emerged during the Protestant Reformation. We affiliate nationally with a larger community of believers who call themselves Mennonite Church Canada. For more information about beliefs we share with this broader stream of faith, click here. http://home.mennonitechurch.ca/cof/intro

 

What are the core convictions of Anabaptist Christians?

They are:

  1. Jesus is the centre of our faith.

Jesus is to be followed in daily life. Being a Christian means more than having a spiritual experience, affirming a creed, or being made right before God. To be a Christian means to follow Jesus in daily life

The Bible is interpreted from a Christ-centred point of view. Jesus is seen as the fullest revelation of God and God’s will, which means that sometimes the teachings of Jesus transcend previous teachings. The writer of Hebrews declares, “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son … who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being …”

While Christians from an Anabaptist perspective see the Scriptures as the ultimate source of information, they see Jesus as the final authority for faith and life. He is Lord of Scripture and is normative for both personal and social ethics.

  1. Community is the centre of our lives.

One of the first things that Jesus did when he began his ministry was to form a community. They learned, ate, travelled and served together until at Pentecost they became the core of a new society called the church. The New Testament church provided an alternate way of living to both the religious and political realities of that day.

Anabaptist Christians believe that forgiveness is essential for creating and nurturing community.

The Scriptures are interpreted in community, Christians from an Anabaptist perspective believe that the Scriptures need to be studied both privately and in the context of a Spirit-guided community where fellow believers give and receive counsel.

Our Community Covenant is an integral part of our values.  Read it here ….

  1. Reconciliation is the centre of our work.

Being a Christian from an Anabaptist perspective is a combination of believing in Jesus, belonging   to community, and behaving in a reconciling way.  For our church community this involves being intentional about getting past us/them paradigms which frame much of our current day discourse.

We understand that the call to be ambassadors of the Good News of Jesus is for all of us to live out as followers of Jesus.  To reach across to those who we deem as “other” is an essential part of call to peace making in the way of Jesus.  As a core part of our theology we take seriously the call of Jesus to love our enemies and strive to live that out in our daily lives.

“What if… God truly is completely Christlike? What if His love is more generous, his Cross more powerful, and his gospel more beautiful than we’ve dared to imagine? What if our clearest image of God is the self- giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love revealed on the Cross? What if we had a more Christlike God?” – Brad Jersak

 

Some of this content comes from Palmer Becker booklet “what is a an Anabaptist Christian”

 -read the full booklet here https://assets.mennonites.org/Downloads/DL.MissioDei18.E.pdf

 


OUR BRIEF HISTORY


The congregation now known as Foothills Mennonite Church began in 1955 with families meeting in homes. Early in January of 1956, the group that grew to be known as North Hill Mennonite Mission commenced their own morning worship services complete with Sunday School. The formal organization of the North Hill Mennonite Church (NHMC) took place in November, 1961. During the 1960’s, NHMC saw an increased growth in the size of the congregation and in the scope of its activities. In the mid-1960’s, land was purchased in the University Heights district and a new church building was constructed that is now known as Foothills Mennonite Church. Today we have a vibrant church community and offer one inter-generational service on Sunday at 10:30, many church activities, as well as a strong education program.

Information summarised from the Foothills Mennonite Church 25th Anniversary Yearbook

OUR CONFESSION OF FAITH


This Confession is the culmination of individual and congregational input that took place over several years in North American (formerly General Conference and Mennonite Church) congregations.  As a result of that process, we read it as more of a “descriptive” document, rather than a “prescriptive” one.  The Confession describes where most congregations are at on a given article, rather than prescribing what a given congregation is to believe.

Below is a summary of the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective.  Click here for the the full and annotated Confession of Faith

 

Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective (Summary)

1. We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally. God has created all things visible and invisible, has brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.

2. We believe in Jesus Christ , the Word of God become flesh. He is the Savior of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on a cross. He was declared to be Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. He is the head of the church, the exalted Lord, the Lamb who was slain, coming again to reign with God in glory.

3. We believe in the Holy Spirit , the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of redemption.

4. We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life. Led by the Holy Spirit in the church, we interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ.

5. We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life.

6. We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.

7. We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin . All have fallen short of the Creator’s intent, marred the image of God in which they were created, disrupted order in the world, and limited their love for others. Because of sin, humanity has been given over to the enslaving powers of evil and death.

8. We believe that, through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life. We receive God’s salvation when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Christ, we are reconciled with God and brought into the reconciling community. We place our faith in God that, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, we may be saved from sin to follow Christ and to know the fullness of salvation.

9. We believe that the church is the assembly of those who have accepted God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God and to provide a foretaste of the church’s glorious hope. It is the new society established and sustained by the Holy Spirit.

10. We believe that the mission of the church is to proclaim and to be a sign of the kingdom of God. Christ has commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things he has commanded.

11. We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a sign of their cleansing from sin. Baptism is also a pledge before the church of their covenant with God to walk in the way of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers are baptized into Christ and his body by the Spirit, water, and blood.

12. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sign by which the church thankfully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established by his death. In this communion meal, the church renews its covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until he comes.

13. We believe that in washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus calls us to serve one another in love as he did. Thus we acknowledge our frequent need of cleansing, renew our willingness to let go of pride and worldly power, and offer our lives in humble service and sacrificial love.

14. We practice discipline in the church as a sign of God’s offer of transforming grace. Discipline is intended to liberate erring brothers and sisters from sin, and to restore them to a right relationship with God and to fellowship in the church. The practice of discipline gives integrity to the church’s witness in the world.

15. We believe that ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ, who gives gifts through the Holy Spirit to all believers and empowers them for service in the church and in the world. We also believe that God calls particular persons in the church to specific leadership ministries and offices. All who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith.

16. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members, ordered in such a way that, through the one Spirit, believers may be built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

17. We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to discipleship , to take up our cross and follow him. Through the gift of God’s saving grace, we are empowered to be disciples of Jesus, filled with his Spirit, following his teachings and his path through suffering to new life. As we are faithful to his way, we become conformed to Christ and separated from the evil in the world.

18. We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit . As the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes shape in us, we grow in the image of Christ and in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is active in individual and in communal worship, leading us deeper into the experience of God.

19. We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of the church, God’s family. As single and married members of the church family give and receive nurture and healing, families can grow toward the wholeness that God intends. We are called to chastity and to loving faithfulness in marriage.

20. We commit ourselves to tell the truth , to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid the swearing of oaths.

21. We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls the church to live in faithful stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us, and to participate now in the rest and justice which God has promised.

22. We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.

23. We believe that the church is God’s holy nation, called to give full allegiance to Christ its head and to witness to every nation, government, and society about God’s saving love.

24. We place our hope in the reign of God and its fulfillment in the day when Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. He will gather his church, which is already living under the reign of God. We await God’s final victory, the end of this present age of struggle, the resurrection of the dead, and a new heaven and a new earth. There the people of God will reign with Christ in justice, righteousness, and peace for ever and ever.