The future (Mennonite) church

Jun 28, 2017 by

I’ve been told to come to the Mennonite Church USA Future Church Summit with a smile, ready to make new friends. And I will. I basically smile all the time anyway; that’s just how my face looks. Honestly,...

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Distance no obstacle for Central District’s growth

Jun 26, 2017 by and

Central District Conference’s geographical range may continue to expand as congregations prioritize polity over geography in realignment. Three congregations seeking to transfer from other Mennonite Church...

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Brethren seek to clarify issues of authority

Jun 5, 2017 by and

Like many denominations, the Church of the Brethren is weighing the degrees of uniformity and diversity it can accommodate. One of the business items to be considered at the annual conference June 28-July 2 in...

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MC USA leaders seek relationships that unite

Mar 16, 2016 by and

GOSHEN, Ind. — Members of Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council discussed multiple perspectives on covenant relationships while dreaming of the church’s future together March 7-9 at...

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Opinion: In praise of the stalemate

Mar 14, 2016 by and

Ties aren’t just underappreciated in American society, they are vilified. That’s why baseball has no limit to its innings, while ties are intrinsic to the more global sport of soccer. Yet, the tied Supreme...

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Confession, polity and ordination

Jul 15, 2015 by

In “Confessing Without Forcing,” Rich Preheim provides some historical background to the current situation in Mennonite Church USA. The 1995 Confession of Faith was already a fact when I joined the...

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Indiana-Michigan cites Goshen pastor’s ‘variance’ for same-sex ceremony

Apr 22, 2015 by and

Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference has identified a Goshen, Ind., pastor as at variance with its teaching position for officiating a same-sex covenant ceremony. The pastor, Karl Shelly of Assembly Mennonite...

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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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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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What is a conservative to do?

Sep 1, 2014 by

When I supported the merger of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church, I was not aware of the profound differences between the two groups. The MCs traditionally had a top-down,...

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Binational polity manual now available

Aug 18, 2014 by

ELKHART, Ind. — A newly revised polity manual for leadership in Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada has been released as a working document. The book, A Shared Understanding of Church...

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Ohio resolution asking for discipline falls short

Aug 11, 2014 by and

MILLERSBURG, Ohio — An Ohio Conference resolution asking Mennonite Church USA to remove Mountain States Mennonite Conference from membership if it does not reverse its decision to license a lesbian minister...

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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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The right side of history

Jun 23, 2014 by

The other week I was at a conference. One of the speakers challenged us as church leaders to “be on the right side of history.” He then went on to reference women, race, immigration and sexual orientation....

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Church based on trust

Apr 14, 2014 by

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....

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