Saturday, November 10, 2012

Waterloo North Mennonite Church

I am joining up with Kate for Fun Fridays-Places of Worship. I am writing about my church, Waterloo North Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I just have to say first off that I LOVE my church. Of course there are things which bug me about it but probably the thing I missed the most while I was living in Alberta for five years was my church on Sunday mornings.
I started going to my church in 1996 when it was quite small, maybe around 70 people. They had recently built a building after meeting in a local gym for a number of years. I am Mennonite. For those of you who don't know what a Mennonite is, I have copied the following directly from our national website (Mennonite Church Canada) and you can find a lot more on there including our entire Confession of Faith in great detail!

Mennonites believe in Jesus Christ as the One sent by God to bring reconciliation to a broken world, and believe in the Bible as the central source of inspiration for faithful living. Mennonites share essential core beliefs with Christians of Catholic and Protestant communities. We emphasize the connections between faith, words and actions.

We believe baptism should be voluntary and should be accompanied by a lifestyle that reflects the teachings of Jesus. Inside each of us there is a yearning to understand why we are here. Mennonites believe the answer lies in both believing in and following Jesus, and that peace building is an achievable way of life. Mennonites seek to live out Jesus’ teachings by being active members of church communities who live out their beliefs in the community at large.

We believe that peace and wholeness are real possibilities. It’s how God intends us to live here and now. We use the tools God has given us as we strive for wholeness through our faith in Jesus Christ. Living as peace builders when war comes is not easy because many in our society believe it is foolish to refuse to defend oneself and one’s country in the face of aggression.

I feel like the most important part of being a Mennonite for me, is the stance on peace and justice as lived out by Jesus in the New Testament. Sometime I will talk about working with a Christian organization where I actively stood up against violence and injustice in various parts of the world, including in Canada.

Anyways, back to my church. It is a simple building, and by far my favourite part is the stone wall at the front of the sanctuary with the simple cross hanging there.
Our sanctuary is light and airy and simple. I love it.
I love the practices which my church follows. We do Child Dedication, as we believe that baptism needs to be an informed choice, usually made when you are an adult. (Many people get baptised around age 18. I was 25.) In the child dedication service we commit to raising our child to know God and Jesus and ask for the church's support as we undertake that task. Here are both my kids, with our lead pastor, after their dedication services.
Our church has many programs for members and other interested people. I have really been enjoying Let's Play, a weekly playgroup at the church. The toys all belong to the church and are set up in the Fellowship Hall. Parents and caregivers are responsible for their children and the time ends with singing songs. Usually there are about fifty people there and it is chaos with all the kids running around.
We also do a midweek program called LOGOS, which gives kids from Grade 1-12 a chance to engage more fully with the church, the Bible and our community. I am currently teaching Bible Time to three girls in Grades 4 & 5. Dave does setting up for the meal and Sam and Rachel enjoy being in the nursery and running around the Fellowship Hall with the other kids after supper.

I teach Grade 6 Sunday School this year. We have Sunday School for EVERY age starting at age 2. Sam's three year old class has eight kids in it and my Grade 6 class has ten kids. Our Sunday School is one of the biggest programs in our entire national church. We have a lot of kids and we really celebrate that.

I love the Care Groups (small groups) organized by my church. I have been in the same one since December 2001. I met some of my best friends through this care group. We have gone through a number of permutations but the core has been the same since we first started meeting. This group has seen me go from a single person, to a married woman with children. We talked this summer about our care group is like an extended family with all the kids as cousins. I love that image since I grew up with a large extended family and my kids only have four cousins in total and three of them they don't see very much. Our Care Group currently has seventeen people in it!
So that's my church. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Feel free to come and visit in real life if you are looking for a church, and feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments.


  1. That is so interesting; thanks for posting that information about Mennonites! I don't know of any Mennonite churches around here-- to be honest, I'd always thought Mennonites were similar to Amish or something. But obviously you've changed my perception, seeing as you don't seem to shun electricity or technology too much!! :) Sounds like your church is a wonderful community!

  2. Wow! The Mennonite Church in Tennessee is completely different than in Canada. Here when you say Mennonite they are similar to the Amish. They all wear the same style clothing, do not watch TV, listen to music, have any instruments and all work mostly on family farms or building furniture. Sounds like you have a great church. The play group sounds amazing. I always wished my church had something like that.

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      I am probably from one of the most liberal branches of Mennonites. One of my former co-workers wrote a book describing each of the different Mennonite branches and I think there are about 42 different groups of people who call themselves "Mennonite" varying from extremely conservative to very modern and liberal. I skimmed the Wikipedia article on Mennonites ( and found it to be quite informative.

      I love our playgroup. It has been so great to be a part of it.

  3. I too appreciate the explanation you provided regarding the Mennonite belief. The Texas Mennonites are closer to the Amish as well. How interesting to learn about your belief. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am probably from one of the most liberal branches of Mennonites. One of my former co-workers wrote a book describing each of the different Mennonite branches and I think there are about 42 different groups of people who call themselves "Mennonite" varying from extremely conservative to very modern and liberal. I skimmed the Wikipedia article on Mennonites ( and found it to be quite informative. I should have linked to this in the original post I think!

  4. Yep, your church brings back great memories of my past churches and makes me really long for those experiences! We love our current more modern church, but I was raised in smaller community churches where our church friends felt more like family. My closest childhood friends were from church, and we did almost everything together. Our doctrines are the same as they are biblically based. My children were dedicated to the Lord instead of baptized for the same reason. I just really miss the social and personal feelings that I attached to my old churches. Our church doesn't have a traditional Sunday School program because of its size. It does have an awesome children's ministry though, but I still think it is so big that it will be harder for my kids to find their places. For right now, we are sticking it out because we haven't felt led to move elsewhere. Our big church is such a light in the community and has the resources to do so much. It is debt free and just spends so much money helping local and international missions. Our church does utilize the small group meetings, but we have had difficulty finding a fit for us because of our crazy schedules. Anyway, your church just brings back so many memories of the churches of my childhood. :-)

  5. Hey, how do you get the pictures to be side by side like that? : )

    1. In the new Blogger interface I have to make both pictures small and then cut and paste one picture beside the other. It is way more complicated than the old interface and I don't like it :(


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