Congregational Profile: Bally Mennonite Church

by Deb Good, Bally congregation

At Bally Mennonite we are on a journey with Jesus, our center.  It is our desire that all who walk through our doors receive a warm welcome and invitation to join this small, but vibrant community who endeavor to follow Jesus in all of life.

Since 1971, our location has been on Route 100 in Bally, just south of the original meetinghouse built in 1732. We have gathered as an Anabaptist community here for nearly 300 years, encouraging one another to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are growing in joyful engagement with our community, sharing God’s love in service and friendship. We recognize that we are in a rapidly changing world, which requires that we go beyond our doors and into our communities, building relationships and shining Christ’s light to those in need.

A typical Sunday morning at Bally starts with coffee and fellowship prior to the Sunday School hour, where meaningful classes are structured for all ages. Children are a valuable part of our gathering, and teachers provide loving care and age-appropriate lessons.

The worship service that follows includes vibrant singing with a worship team, caring prayers, an opportunity for sharing, and a message of hope, healing, and encouragement. We are a church community who enjoy connecting with each other over coffee, during the Sunday School hour, or after the service where many linger. Occasional potluck meals, community breakfasts, and special events provide additional opportunities for connecting.

The generosity of our community is evident through the talents and skills shared in a variety of ways. We practice regular giving to support the work of our church, local community, and church related agencies such as MCC and MDS, among others. We enjoy serving and gathering together with our neighbors through regular Pancake Breakfasts, caring for youth at the Bally Community Center, teaching children at the Bally Community Preschool, and gardening with our neighbors at God’s Acre.

Themes of peace and justice run deep at Bally.  Over the years much attention has been given to Jesus’s examples and teachings of non-violence, mercy, and love of neighbor. We continue to be challenged in knowing how to respond to a world in pain from violence, hunger, hate, greed, and indifference. We strive to be agents of healing whether in our own lives, our communities, or in our world.  At the same time, we want to be bridge builders in situations of differences which reside even among ourselves. For all of this, we rely on God’s Spirit at work among us.

We have recently refined our vision, structuring ourselves as a “centered-set” faith community. This could be described as being on a path together, all moving towards Jesus, our center. Within this model we find greater freedom from judgement and boundaries, as we live with more grace, joy, and purpose. It is our deep desire that we continue to be a community who faithfully follows Jesus where he leads, building upon the deep faith of those who have gone before us. 

Pray for us:

  1. That we continue to rely on God’s Spirit to help us build relationships with our neighbors and each other.
  2. That those who are seeking would find Bally to be a place of welcome, where all can grow and find support in their walk with Jesus, and that their gifts and talents could be valued and shared for the common good.
  3. That we would continue to be disciples who model the love of Christ, inviting others to join us.