Who are we and how we are called to be in our world?
This is the work members and delegates of Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA is our denomination) will gather June 30-July 5 in Kansas City to engage.
Together we’ll worship, train, fellowship, debate and dialogue our way through our common identity and 5 proposed resolutions. Convention is first and foremost a fantastic disciple-making event! Seminars and relationships are the very core of what we do when we get together.
But these statements are the core of what we can prep for as far as the delegate work and “agenda” goes. As these are statements that will potentially speak for you (whether you agree with them or not) you’re encouraged to read them here.
- Israel-Palestine Resolution
- Faithful Witness Amid Endless War Resolution
- Churchwide Statement on Sexual Abuse
The first two speak directly to our identity as peacemakers in the world. And the last strengthens HMC’s ongoing commitment to address sexual abuse and its prevention.
The two resolutions creating the most anxiety and anticipation address ways of relating to the LGBTQ members in our churches and families. Please read them here:
- Resolution on the Status of the Membership Guidelines
- Resolution on Forbearance in the Midst of Difference
The first conflates unity with the majority position by affirming the traditional stance that marriage is only between one man and woman; thus forbidding pastors from performing same sex ceremonies. The second sees unity as a big tent with room for all practices. Notice that no progressive resolutions have been accepted at this time, though one has been submitted.
Last week I answered the “Why” of MCUSA and our Convention by saying, “Peace is the mission of God and peacemaking is the vocation of God’s people.”
If this is so, let’s humbly acknowledge our LGBT members and family have repeatedly stated that traditional non-affirming policies are dehumanizing and experienced as violence. Regardless one’s opinion, the LGBT community is statistically the most vulnerable to sexual abuse (Resolution #3 should make that important to us), and overwhelmingly find non-affirming policies leave them with no other option but non-participation in the life of the church.
The KC Convention provides the space to interpret what it means to be peacemakers in a world desperate for the repair of broken relationships.
So PLEASE mark your calendar for the afternoon of Sunday May 31. HMC will hold a congregational dialogue following our potluck fellowship meal.
In the meantime, I invite you to sit with the following desire for 5-10 minutes sometime this weekend – “God… Come and fill our hearts with your peace.”
Pastor Marty Troyer