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Being a Faithful Church 3: Delegates respond


Naomi Unger (standing) leads a small group discussion on the Being a Faithful Church 3 process at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2011 in Waterloo, Ont.

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September 27, 2011
-Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Delegates responded to the Being a Faithful Church 3 process with over 750 recorded comments at the 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly in Waterloo this past summer. About 800 adults and youth attended the event.

The BFC process, introduced at the assembly in Saskatoon in 2009, is a tool developed to help  congregations, Area Churches, and the national church discern matters of faith and practice in response to difficult issues of our time. The process is of particular importance when disagreement makes consensus difficult. BFC part 3 in particular addresses the scope of human sexuality, including homosexuality.

The 750 comments have been categorized along thematic lines. The top two comments demonstrate wide affirmation for the BFC 3 process under the leadership of the General Board, and a commitment to scripture study. Near the bottom of the list respondents asked for help to define the criteria needed for weighing of scripture, and a desire to live the proclamation that the unity of the church is not humanity’s doing, but a gift of the Spirit.

Delegates cautioned leadership to avoid creating divisions, noting that there are already disagreements between generations and congregations on matters regarding non-heterosexual persons.

The General Board has compiled all the responses from delegates. Documents of delegate feedback in both summarized and detailed forms can be found at For a feedback summary, see

Later this fall, the General Board will make available a tool for congregations to share how they already use scripture for discernment on difficult matters. The tool will be made available in preparation for Assembly 2012 in Vancouver.

Andrew Reesor-McDowell, Moderator, said, “All congregations are encouraged to participate in the Being a Faithful Church process. You can expect to deepen your understanding of scripture, enrich your faith, and strengthen your commitment to the one whom we call Lord.”