on the Whereabouts of Mennonites

Inspired by my recent Anabaptist History tour of Europe and by the biannual convention of the Mennonite Church USA at San Jose (though I wasn’t able to attend), I’ve been working recently on creating this map of Mennonite congregations in North America.

Each congregation is represented by a colored bubble. The size of the bubble corresponds to the membership reported by the congregation, and the bubble’s color represents the year in which the congregation was founded. (Congregations from the same city are grouped together at low zoom levels.) The map uses the Google maps API so you can zoom and pan the map just like at maps.google.com.

Menno Map Disclaimers

  • The data regarding MC USA congregations represented in this map should be up to date with the official MC USA directory. The data for other congregations, such as those in Canada, are more likely to be out of date. If your congregation is missing, or its info is no longer correct, please feel free to e-mail me the new info.
  • This map is not designed for navigational purposes. The addresses of these congregations were converted to latitude and longitude positions using an automated geocoding tool from Yahoo. I have not checked the results for accuracy, so your mileage (literally) may vary.

Without further ado:

Menno Map FAQ

Why a map of Mennonite congregations?

Too often we feel the impulse to focus our attention just on the local congregation while neglecting ties to broader church organizations. But while local ministry is essential, so too is interacting with and learning from the diverse community of congregations that consider themselves members of Christ’s body. That of course extends beyond the Mennonite church, but I hope that by showing the diversity of Mennonite churches this map can in a small way help raise awareness of the church as a network of local communities.

How do I navigate the map?

See Google’s map navigation instructions for instructions on how to use the map controls. Move your mouse cursor over a bubble to see which congregation or city it represents. Click on a congregation bubble to visit that congregation’s website, or on a city bubble to zoom in on that city.

How did you do that?

Most of the magic is taken care of by Google’s great maps API. I just output the data from the database in the proper format and tweaked some settings for looks and performance.

Umm, zooming is really slow.

It gets better at higher zoom levels. Unfortunately Google maps wasn’t really built for displaying 1000 markers at once, which is an issue for the initial zoomed-out map. I’ll probably soon make it only show one marker per state by default, with the full map as an alternative.

Where did all the information about the congregations come from?

The data for Mennonite Church USA congregations comes from their official online directory. The other data has been collected from various websites including Mennonite.net, and I make no guarantee to its accuracy.

Can you include congregations that are not officially part of Mennonite Church USA or Mennonite Church Canada?

If you look carefully, you’ll notice a few congregations already present that are not affiliated with these groups. I’m glad to include any congregation that identifies itself as Mennonite or Anabaptist and is in basic agreement with the Shared Convictions adopted by Mennonite World Conference in 2006.

Why “North American?” The majority of Mennonites are now in the global South…

I would love to include all the Mennonite churches in the world! But I needed to start somewhere. The contact information for US and Canadian churches was the most readily available. If you represent a Mennonite group not already on the map and would like me to add it, please e-mail me. I also plan to add the denominational groups listed in the Mennonite World Conference World Directory

(North American is a misnomer, by the way. The map is missing Mennonite congregations from Central America and the Caribbean.)

That’s neat. Now you should ______________.

I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Please add your comments below, or feel free to e-mail me privately.

One Response to “on the Whereabouts of Mennonites”

  1. David, the Seattle MVS house cannot wait to meet you! Cheerio, Rachel, Holly, Kristin, Natalie, Erin, and Trent.

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