Church based on trust

Apr 14, 2014 by

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The recent letter from 150 pastors has become characterized as one of the polarized “sides” in the Mennonite Church USA discussions on sexuality and faithfulness. This is neither nuanced nor accurate. Thoughtful discussion should account for an overlooked part of this letter: “Others of us, while not prepared to personally act against the guidelines, respect the discernment of our colleagues and seek a denomination where we can engage in the ministry to which God calls us without the threat of having credentials denied or removed or congregations sanctioned.” I signed the letter primarily to affirm this statement. I hope we will consider a polity that is more congregational. This means pastors and congregations trust the discernment of others as they deal with the people and circumstances within their ministry. Pastors and congregations would not presume to know the next steps for people unknown to them. For me, the letter was a call for a denomination based on trust. I will not judge pastors and congregations that are not inclusive, nor those that are. I trust my colleagues and am willing to remain in fellowship with them even when I do not agree with them.

Tim Schrag
Normal, Ill.

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