Below is a brief history of the Anabaptists. Perhaps this will help explain why we value community in the Brethren in Christ church and particularly at Westheights.
In 1525 a small Bible study group in Switzerland was studying the life style of the early Church as shown in Scripture. The desired to restore that same lifestyle to the church. They initially called themselves Brothers in Christ but later came to also accept the common name of Anabaptists. The term Anabaptists was originally a negative term coined by the opponents of the movement. It was a derogatory reference to the fact that they were re-baptizing people. However, since they came to believe that their infant baptism was of no benefit, they did not consider that they were baptized again.
The first Anabaptist congregation was organized by Conrad Grebel, George Blaurock & Felix Manz in Switzerland in 1525. This congregation began calling themselves “Brothers in Christ”. These Brothers in Christ came to the understanding that the Church consisted of members who made a covenant with God to obey all that he taught.
They saw in Scripture that members of the Church were to be pacifists, non-resistant to violence so prevalent in the systems of the world. Therefore they could not be in the military or any government service that involved the use of force. They also believed that brotherly community is the highest command of love (John 13:34-35, Acts 4:32). That to love in community was to return to the pattern of the early church as seen in Acts 2:44. It was from that movement that the Brethren in Christ church was birthed. And so we continue to place high value on community in the body of Christ as it was the core value of the original Anabaptists.