The 14 people out of 38 registered for the Partnering with God’s healing and hope seminar may indicate some wearying of attendees, but those present paid close attention and asked good questions about what a mission partnership with a Witness worker or ministry means.
The Bible uses the same word for covenant regardless of whether that agreement is between God and God’s people, or between people, Safwat Marzouk told delegates at the Friday, July 8 plenary session of Assembly 2016. It’s the same word used in the covenant between God and Noah, between Abraham and his allies, and between Isaac and the Philistines.
Although a concrete picture of what Mennonite Church might look like in two years isn’t yet determined, 318 delegates voted to approve in principle the direction proposed by the Future Directions Task Force (FDTF) to develop a more integrated nation-wide church body. Twenty-one voted against, and 4 ballots were spoiled.
Nine years of careful study, sensitive listening, deep engagement by many but not all congregations, and innumerable meetings of the Being a Faithful Church Task Force led to a large majority vote in favour of creating space for congregations to differ from one another when it comes to same sex relationships.
Did you know that if you stacked all of the textual records and photographs in Winnipeg’s Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives and Gallery on top of each other, the stack would be taller than the CN Tower?
Randall Neudorf of The Commons church in Hamilton, Ont., was brought to tears as the Glowing Embers Ukelele Band from Bethany Manor in Saskatoon led singing at worship today. His Grandmother of Bethany Manor was in the band and passed away just one month ago. He was unable to attend the funeral.
The seminar Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies presented by Ryan Siemens, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan Area Church Minister, was an eye-opening and encouraging information session based on a 32-minute documentary of the same name.
In his seminar Confessions of faith: Sources of Unity or Division, Karl Koop told the story of 3,000 Mennonites who gathered for a five-hour meeting in Amsterdam in 1639. The event brought together three Mennonite groups who had been severely divided. The most contentious issue was how congregations should practice discipline. Koop said that in the early years of the seventeenth century, many disagreements among these Mennonite groups were resolved and their confessions of faith became a unifying tool.
The most encouraging sign of a healthy church future is the strong, vibrant, and gracious presence of the young adults from the Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI). If you have not yet taken a moment to meet one of them – do it. You’ll be glad you did.