This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Going to church the Mennonite way

(I thought it would be interesting to use Sundays to focus on Rensselaer's churches and to see how many Sundays I can go before I run out of material. Indiana is richly endowed with religious denominations, with influences from North and South, East and West. This is part of that series of posts.)

The Burr Oak Mennonite Church is located at just west of Interstate 95 at the intersection of CR 100S and 1150W. According to the "Church Services Directory" in the Rensselaer Republican, Sunday worship begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School begins at 11:00 a.m. The church has a website at netministries.org/see/churches.exe/ch11694.

The Burr Oak church is associated with the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, which is part of the Mennonite Church USA. The church's page there has a considerable amount of information about the Burr Oak Church.

The local church was established in 1919. The building looks more recent than that, and also looks like it has been attained its present form through remodeling and expansion.

The Mennonites have a fascinating history that dates to the very early Protestant Reformation. They come from the Anabaptist tradition that rejects infant baptism, and they have always been nonviolent. Most other denominations were both persecuted and persecutor, but the Mennonites and the closely related Amish were only persecuted. The Wikipedia article on the Mennonites recounts their history.

The distribution of Mennonites in the United States can be seen here. (The distribution of Amish, which no longer have churches in our area, is here.)

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