The Germantown Mennonite Congregation Today
The Germantown Mennonite congregation is thriving today, having undergone a revival that began in the 1970s, when a concerted effort was made to gather Mennonite graduate students and volunteer service workers within Philadelphia. Previously, most of the regular attendees had come from the rural suburbs. The congregation began to grow numerically and assume an identity and vision for Mennonites who loved the city and felt a spiritual calling to live in an urban setting.
The growing congregation pushed the space limitations of the historic 1770 Meetinghouse to the limits, and so, after several years of renting space in neighboring facilities, the congregation purchased its present worship site at 21 W. Washington Lane. Visitors to the area are welcome to attend a Sunday morning service or join in with any of the congregation’s activities. The congregation still uses the historic 1770 Meetinghouse for special services, such as Christmas Eve and a Lent foot washing service.
Until recent years, the Germantown congregation was affiliated with both the Franconia Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church and the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. In February 2002, these two main North American Mennonite bodies (MC and GCMC) merged as the Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.
This merger was accomplished in the context of diverse theologies pertaining to scripture and to the welcoming of gay and lesbian persons into membership. As a consequence, the Germantown Mennonite Church congregation was removed as a Franconia Conference member in 1997, due to their full inclusion of sexual minorities into membership. For similar reasons, it was also removed from the Eastern District as a member congregation in 2002.
The congregation officially notes that they continue to experience spiritual union with the Mennonite Church USA, despite its departure from the majority teaching on human sexuality, as they embrace core values of Anabaptism, including:
Germantown Mennonite Church
21 West Washington Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19144-2601
Support provided in part by
Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust - 6133 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19144 - (215) 843-0943 - firstname.lastname@example.org