Our Mission Statement
God calls us to be a loving, growing, and welcoming community. By following the Holy Spirit and maintaining a relationship with Christ, we seek to live as witnesses of Him, offering healing and hope to the world.
Evergreen Heights Mennonite Church was officially accepted as a member of Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Church USA in 2003. In December, 2001, a group of Anabaptist families began meeting regularly for worship and Bible study, first in homes, then in a meeting room at the Best Western. By Easter Sunday, 2002, a property on Canyon Hill in Caldwell had been purchased. This gave a sense of home where hospitality, healing and hope could be offered. Christian education, mission activities, worship and fellowship directs our life together. Evergreen Heights church family is also involved locally with other significant ministries in our community.
Mennonite roots reach back in history to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The first Mennonites, originally known as Anabaptists because they were rebaptized as adult believers, came mainly from Switzerland and Germany and were influenced by leaders such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, George Blaurock, Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz.
These Swiss/German faithful, but outspoken, men felt called to contest the rules of the State and Church and made their break away from the Catholic Church. As an act of commitment to their newfound faith in the scriptural teachings of the Bible rather than the State rules, they gathered one evening in a home in Zurich, Switzerland on a cold day in January 1525. They professed their faith in God and in the Bible and chose to baptize one another as adults, thereby refusing obedience to the State. They and other followers of this new political and spiritual movement became the hunted and many were tortured and martyred for their faith. They continued to preach and teach while fleeing those who hunted them. The movement grew throughout Europe but struggled because of the deep persecution by the church and government.
Menno Simons, a Dutch priest serving in northern Netherlands converted to the Anabaptist faith around 1536 and became a dynamic leader for the struggling group. Because of his influence and leadership, the group became known as Mennonites. In Germany in 1527 Michael Sattler wrote The Schleitheim Confession of Faith during a Swiss Brethren conference. The purpose of the conference was to meet and clarify beliefs in order to counter some of the charges that were being made against the Anabaptists.
Basic tenets of faith that provide a foundation of belief include:
- Separation of church and state, serving God is of higher value over service to the State
- Practice of peace and non-resistance and refusal to use the sword
- Adult faith proclamation and baptism
- Priesthood of all believers
- Biblical teachings as demonstrated through Jesus and his teachings
- Simple lifestyle and value of community
These teachings have served Mennonites well over the years. While new confessions of faith have been written this original one laid the foundation for all later confessions.
Other important documents include the Martys Mirror, a collection of martyr stories and illustrations, and the many writings of Menno Simons.