Necessary insights

Apr 20, 2020 by

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Glen Guyton’s personal story and his quoted comments (“Outsider’s Perspective Shows Value of Belonging,” April 6) give reality to an outlook that I heard long ago and truly believe. Non­ethnic Mennonites like Guyton and historic Mennonites like myself have different but necessary and complementary roles in Mennonite Church USA. Ethnic Mennos carry the history and the memory of the tradition that are an important part of the church’s identity. Nonethnic Mennos — that is, those not of north European background who choose to join as new Mennonites — bring enthusiasm and excitement about the peace church message. They thus play an important role in keeping ethnic Mennos from taking the tradition for granted. The nonethnic newcomers also bring insight about the wider culture and may then lead in helping the church to understand how to live its prophetic witness in the midst of our struggling and polarized world. Guyton exemplifies these roles marvelously. He is a gift for this time in the history of MC USA.

J. Denny Weaver
Madison, Wis.

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