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An invitation to listen


July 12, 2012
Deborah Froese

Vancouver, B.C.—When Mennonite Church Canada’s Faith and Life Committee (FLC) compiled 4 pages of potential issues for denominational discernment in the spring of 2012, they decided to ask the church body for help in narrowing down the list.

Doug Klassen, a member of the FLC and pastor of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary says that when the committee tried to categorize items, they discovered that many seemed to indicate a desire for renewal, to receive new breath from the Spirit.  “We decided to invite two people from each church to study with us, pray with us, and seek God to work with us on behalf of the whole denomination,” he says.

The invitation has gone out. Over the course of the summer, participants are invited to read Matthew chapters 8 to 10. The only guidelines the committee offers is to “delight in scripture” and let it speak without trying to analyze the text or interpret it through historical criteria.  

“This particular passage was chosen because this is where Jesus takes the disciples out and sends them to work,” Klassen says.  It’s an active passage, inviting congregations to discipleship.

By September, the FLC will use a social media platform and other venues as needed to invite participants to share what they have heard. They will work together to gradually glean areas for the national church to focus on. To find out if your church is participating, visit the Faith and Life Committee table just outside the Minoru Ballroom.

All delegates to Assembly 2012 are invited to fill out a short survey by the FLC along a similar theme. The survey provides check boxes for demographic information and offers a single question; “Given what you knew coming into the assembly and what you heard over these two days, what actions to you believe the church should be taking to more deeply engage the Bible?”

See complete coverage of Assembly 2012