About Omaha Mennos
We are a collection of Anabaptist minded persons living in the Omaha, Nebraska area. Many of us were part of a Mennonite church before moving to Omaha. Others are attracted by our commitment to non-violence or some other aspect of the Anabaptist way of being church. There were no active Anabaptist communities in Omaha. So, we started getting together as a small group, doing service and fellowship together.
Most of us participate with other congregations on Sunday mornings but long to be in community with others who share the vision of following the Anabaptist Christian way. This gives us an ecumenical feel and allows access to the programs of several different churches in town.
We welcome anyone who wants to join with us on our journey as a Christ centered community of peace and reconciliation here in Omaha. We are loosely associated with the Central Plains Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA.
What is Anabaptist and Mennonite?
Originally, Anabaptist were the radical left wing of the 16th century reformation movement. They are Christians who broke away from the Catholic church but are not technically Protestant either. The largest existing denomination that claims roots in the Anabaptist movement is the Mennonites, so the two words are somewhat interchangeable. However there are other Anabaptist groups, like the Amish, whose practices are much different than modern Mennonites.
A very simple summary of Anabaptist thought is that we know that, "Jesus meant what he said and he was talking to us." (a quote from Mennonite writer, Lynn Miller)
When Jesus said we should love our enemies, we understand him to mean we should love our enemies and not kill them. So, we do not participate in war and are committed to nonviolence. Mennonites have a long history of pacifism and nonresistance. When Jesus talked about caring for the weakest among us, we understand him to mean we should care for the poor and oppressed and work for a socially just society. These, and other ways of 'following Jesus', have been more integral to our understanding of being Christian than any set list of beliefs or dogmas about Jesus or God.
Anabaptism was the first significant movement to promote the idea of separation of Church and State. As Jesus was tortured and killed by the collaboration of religious and political leaders of the first century, so were thousands of early Anabaptists tortured and publicly executed by the Catholic and Protestant churches who were collaborating with the political powers of the 16th Century. The primary conflict at the time was between the political/religious system associated with infant baptism vs. the Anabaptist understanding that joining the church is a choice people can only make as adults. Thus, these 'heratics' who challenged the Church/State system were labeled Anabaptists which in English translates as "re-baptizers".
There are currently over 2 million Anabaptists in the world including over 700,000 in Africa and 100,000 in Latin America.