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Canadian delegates approve purpose/identity statement


Mennonite Church Canada delegates approve a new Statement of Identity and Purpose said to complement the widely embraced joint MC Canada/MC USA Vision: Healing and Hope statement.

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July 8, 2005
- by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Mennonite Church Canada delegates nearly unanimously approved a new purpose and identity statement.

The statement is intended to help leadership and staff remain focused in their ministry and help area conferences and congregations agree on the denomination’s central purpose as a country-wide church. The statement supplements the already widely embraced Vision: Healing and Hope statement shared by Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

“It’s not replacing the vision statement. It’s the next step in our understanding of what we do together as a national church,” said Jeremy Bergen on behalf of the Resolutions Committee.

In response to concerns that the statement is not Anabaptist enough, Bergen summed up counterpoints in a review of work table notes. “Many said that it is distinctive. [Words like] community, disciples, covenant, [speak to] the church as the primary tool in the world. This is not a Pentecostal or Roman Catholic statement. That other churches can affirm this statement is also a virtue. The gospel is a risen person, not reducible to a message,” said Bergen.

“As a resolutions committee, we think we can suggest modest changes,” added Bergen. “We think we heard the echo format attempts to portray missional theology without using that phrase,” he said, commenting on the repetition of God’s activity in the world and the church’s response.

Mennonite Church Canada Statement of Identity and Purpose

“God calls, equips, and sends the church to engage the world with the reconciling gospel of Jesus Christ. We are a community of disciples of Jesus, a part of the Body of Christ, covenanted together as congregations, area conferences, and a national church. Gratefully responding to God’s initiatives and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves and our resources to calling, equipping, and sending the church to engage the world with the reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ.