Why am I a Mennonite?


Marlene Kropf was born and raised a Mennonite, but after moving to an area without any Mennonite churches, she had to be creative in how she continued to worship.

Marlene Kropf is a spiritual director and retreat leader. She is retired from denominational ministry and from teaching at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, in Elkhart, Indiana. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with her husband, Stanley, and is a member of Portland (Oregon) Mennonite Church.

We live in a town on a peninsula without any Mennonite Church USA churches. It’s a good place for reflecting on why I remain a Mennonite.

The easy answer is that I was raised in a Mennonite family and formed in a Mennonite congregation that paid extraordinary attention to nurturing the faith of children and involving them in congregational life. Before me, my ancestors were Mennonites. Some were part of the first Mennonite settlements in North America, and others emigrated from Mennonite communities in northern Europe during the latter half of the 1800s. Not all of my ancestors were Mennonite, however; some were Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed or and Congregationalist, and others professed no faith at all.

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