The next big restoration project in the neighborhood is for us all. The Mennonite Church is restoring their space into a usable space of creativity, restoration, and healing. The church on the corner is a place of refugee response, musical heritage, and peace-building. Mennonites are from the peace-tradition of Christians, a strand that broke off from the Catholics and Protestants 500 years ago in opposition to state-sponsored religion and violence. Today we teach peace-building, host the Conjunto Heritage Taller (a musical heritage preservation organization), the PEACE Initiative (an anti-domestic abuse and healing agency), the Migrant Center (a pro-bono center for asylum-seeking refugees in detention centers south of San Antonio), and a few other organizations that support the vulnerable and needy. We also host a corps of Mennonite Voluntary Service workers in the King William neighborhood - a group living in simple Christian community and serving the impoverished around our city.
The San Antonio Mennonite Fellowship has been in the beautiful and historic church-building on the corner of St. Mary’s and Eagleland Streets since the 1980s. We are now beginning a major renovation and restoration project in partnership with Fisher Heck Architects, with the goal of offering our neighborhood a community center that fosters creativity and healing. We are working to combine preservation, environmental stewardship, and community service to anchor this corner of the neighborhood with a spirit of love and hope.
Our summer has been dramatically influenced by the crisis of the refugee family separation on our southern border. The Christian scriptures are very clear about how to respond to the desperate suffering, and our church offers a number of ways to get involved with the refugees on the border and within our city. Visit our website, at sanantoniomennonite.org for more information. We have both sheltered refugee families and partnered with multiple organizations that serve these families at different points in their journey.
The church on the corner is a place to learn about the mystical traditions of Christian meditation, how to play the accordion, the seven researched principles that make a marriage work, the five ways you can support Central American refugees this summer, how to support a woman in an abusive relationship, and how to become a peace-building member of your family and community.
In Pau’s shortest letter in the New Testament, he writes to a slave owner, Philemon, asking him to do the right thing and to do it out of love. The San Antonio Mennonite Church is humbly striving to do just that.