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2010-02-01 issue:

Could join a Baptist church

by Melissa Bixler, Manassas, Va.

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Thank you for publishing the research on Anglo Anabaptist congregations (News Analysis, January). I am an adult convert to the Mennonite tradition who first became a member at Portland Mennonite Church, one of the churches mentioned in the article.

When my husband, daughter and I moved to Virginia, one of the major factors that made us not choose to attend the closest Mennonite church was the congregation’s irresolute stance on pacifism. We reasoned that if we had wanted to join a church whose distinctive features were anti-alcohol or anti-gay marriage, we could have joined the Baptist church. For us, what makes the Mennonite tradition unique is its commitment to peacemaking, an ethic that extends to vulnerability, dialogue and shared leadership.

We continue to affirm our membership with Portland Mennonite and look forward to joining a Mennonite Church USA congregation that fully affirms the historic Mennonite faith convictions.

Associated Issue: New director begins - January 2010

Associated Article: Anglo Anabaptist congregations in the cities are growing

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