Wider Church Happenings

Tomorrow morning I’ll be driving up to Goshen for three days of meetings with the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council.  The CLC is an advisory and listening group – rather than decision-making body — made up of representatives of area conferences and constituency groups.  As the President-elect of Central District Conference, I’m one of our three attendees.  I’m pleased that one of the newest groups to be represented is the Queer Constituency Council, a result of A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation passed by delegates in 2022.

Our denomination is in a time of flux.  As LGBTQ members have claimed their place and been affirmed in the church, numerous congregations have disaffiliated.  A big role of denominational leadership these days is reimagining our church as a historic peace church engaging in shared justice-minded ministry and practices.  One of the reasons I have chosen to invest time into Central District Conference is that I believe our conference has been a leader in this area. 

These three days will be a time of relationship building across the denomination, listening in on what other conferences and denominational leaders are up to, and giving input into where things might head.  According to the agenda, this includes the sites of the next two national Conventions, and a possible “Year of the Bible” in 2025 to mark the 500 year anniversary of Anabaptism.  It’s also a lot of time in meetings so if you have any spare energy, you can point it northwest toward central Indiana and I’ll try to breathe it in.  I’ll be in worship Sunday looking forward to our children’s palm procession and Bethany Davey’s message.

One more piece of wider church news.  Like our denomination, higher education is in a time of flux.  We have a number of Bluffton University graduates at CMC and the Board of Trustees has just made public their unanimous affirmation of a merger with nearby University of Findlay as “One Community.  Two Campuses.” A tagline is “Strong Roots. Brighter Future.”  More information can be found at https://www.findlayblufftonfuture.com/