MC USA board discusses resolutions’ implications

Sep 21, 2015 by

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board on Sept. 17-19 discussed the implications of resolutions passed at the denomination’s convention this summer. Board members emphasized that two...

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Convention frustration

Jul 20, 2015 by

My assessment of the Mennonite Church USA convention is one of frustration on two fronts: The delegates were in a cocoon, and we were manipulated to do the leadership’s wishes. There was no recognition that...

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Worship service confronts convention’s wounds

Jul 6, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The emotional wounds inflicted by discourse and decisions in the Mennonite Church USA convention delegate hall were the focus of a contemplative and repentant evening worship service on...

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Delegates oppose drone warfare, table Israel divestment

Jul 2, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mennonite Church USA delegates on July 1 overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing drone warfare and tabled a resolution to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli...

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Confessing without forcing

Jun 22, 2015 by

Like so many other Christian groups, Mennonite Church USA has an LGBTQ issue. But more than that, MC USA has a history problem. Unfortunately, as has happened for three decades, the two will no doubt clash at...

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Forbearing family?

May 25, 2015 by

Mennonite Church USA congregations and conferences are like adult brothers and sisters. In a dispute, no one can force the other’s hand. Nor can they appeal to parental authority. They have to figure out for...

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Why I’m for forbearance

May 22, 2015 by

On a Sunday several weeks ago, my family and I had several neighbors over to a “goodbye party” for our next-door neighbor, John, who had decided to move to an apartment closer to his son’s family after...

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Board’s resolution ‘tests’ Membership Guidelines

May 4, 2015 by and

Announcing a new resolution for delegates May 4, the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board says it is “testing the status” of the denomination’s Membership Guidelines. The resolution asks delegates at the...

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MC USA board sends ‘forbearance’ resolution to delegates

Apr 13, 2015 by and

“Forbearance” is the key word of a resolution the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board will send to convention delegates in July. Meeting April 6-8 in Kansas City, Mo., the board approved the resolution...

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A moment of truth

Apr 13, 2015 by

In 1985, black South African theologians released the Kairos Document, a condemnation of Christian support for apartheid policies. In December 2009, Palestinian Christian leaders issued Kairos Palestine. The...

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MC USA council endorses unity statement

Mar 30, 2015 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Conservative, progressive or a call for unity and tolerance? That was the question for the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council as its members weighed three proposed...

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Sitting in Bolivia, with MC USA on my mind

Feb 9, 2015 by

I’m in the middle of a sojourn in Bolivia and a long way from the current action percolating around Mennonite Church USA. Our family is scattered over three continents so we’ve been blessed to travel afar....

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Committee: No structural solution to MC USA tensions

Feb 4, 2015 by and

The idea that major structural change might help Mennonite Church USA resolve its conflicts has been tested and dropped. Instead, delegates at this summer’s convention will turn their attention to polity, or...

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Shifting toward inclusion

Jan 19, 2015 by

There’s a dramatic moment in the mountain of data about Mennonite Church USA released Jan. 5: Credentialed leaders are much more accepting of gay and lesbian church members and leaders than they were eight...

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Issues make polity book a must-read

Nov 3, 2014 by and

Mennonite Church USA’s new ministerial polity handbook has drawn more attention than such a document usually would, due to its potential impact on issues of sexuality and credentialing authority. Since the...

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Another conference to license gay pastor

Oct 27, 2014 by and

A second Mennonite Church USA area conference intends to license a pastor in a same-sex relationship, potentially putting it at odds with an Executive Board directive. Central District Conference plans to...

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Mennonite Church USA to explore new structure

Sep 30, 2014 by and

Seeking to hold the denomination together amid controversies over homosexuality, Mennonite Church USA will explore possibilities for a new structure. At its Sept. 26-27 meeting in Kansas City, Mo., the MC USA...

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Behind closed doors

Sep 1, 2014 by

Samuel Voth Schrag’s advocacy of secrecy in Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meetings (“Safe Space for All Voices”) is the same argument for “executive privilege” that Richard Nixon made in...

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Safe space for all voices

Aug 18, 2014 by

The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board in our last few meetings has held most of our deliberations in closed session, where members of the press are not allowed. This has caused some concern. I recommend...

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A letter to the MC USA Executive Board

Aug 1, 2014 by

Author’s note: I did not write what follows intending it to be an open letter. Given the strong encouragement by a small circle with whom I shared it for feedback, however, I agreed to share it more...

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Two values tested

Jul 21, 2014 by

Within one week this summer, two competing visions of Mennonite Church USA’s future — one with stronger central authority, the other with more local freedom — emerged. First, national leaders extended...

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By what authority?

Jul 21, 2014 by

Who has given the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board the authority to not recognize the ordination of a Colorado pastor? Pastoral ordination has been the province of the district conference. In the General...

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MC USA won’t recognize Colorado pastor’s licensing

Jul 1, 2014 by and

The Mennonite Church USA national conference will not recognize the licensing of a Colorado pastor in a committed same-sex relationship. MC USA announced the decision July 1 by the Executive Board at its June...

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Leaders ask: New ways to relate?

Mar 26, 2014 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Amid controversy over the licensing of a lesbian pastor, leaders from across Mennonite Church USA asked the Executive Board to explore new models for relationship among area conferences...

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Trust the Spirit

Mar 21, 2014 by

It is difficult to understand why the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board cannot trust the Spirit to work in congregations and conferences that do not agree with it. Board members seem to think “the...

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