This is an independent blog and is not affiliated with any particular church, group or conference. The term Bruderthaler refers to a specific ethnic or cultural Mennonite heritage, not to any particular organized group. All statements and opinions are solely those of the contributor(s). Blog comprises notebook fragments from various research projects and discussions. Dialogue, comment and notice of corrections are welcomed. Much of this content is related to papers and presentations that might be compiled at a future date, as such, this blog serves as a research archive rather than as a publication. 'tag

Monday, February 2, 2009

MCC and the Postmodern Mennonite Church

Reply to the proper relationship between the MCC and the Church
Monday, February 2, 2009 at 2:01pm

It is recognized that the supporting conferences and congregations should have the greatest weight and leadership responsibility within the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee), but a more effective way should be found to encourage individual participation and representation within the organization for those who exist outside the traditional congregational framework.

The question of the relationship between the MCC and the church can be taken in many different ways. Recognizing the intent of this topic, I think it would be brilliant to broaden it to include consideration of that wider Mennonite/Anabaptist diaspora composed of individuals who do not attend services in a MB or GC congregation, yet belong to the wider Mennonite/Anabaptist faith family. As long as we identify as Mennonite or Anabaptist, or even as Christian individuals who have created their own relationship to MCC outside of a traditional conference, we also constitute "the Church".

Many of us choose to worship at a different church, often due to socio-politico divisions within a local congregation. Many of us live in areas that are no longer able to sustain independent congregations (the MB in Bismarck or Minneapolis, for instance), have moved to areas without active Anabaptist congregations, or belong(ed) to conferences that no longer exist or no longer identify as Mennonite (the EMB/FEBC). I have experienced many of these circumstances, and yet still identify as Mennonite and am supportive of the MCC, as are my siblings and many of my friends. We could also add experiences in congregations such as my childhood church in Montana where the political leanings of a vocal minority prevented any official relationship with the MCC which they felt did not support those personal political agendas.

As such, it seems virtually impossible to interact with the MCC unless one is a member of an identified Mennonite congregation that chooses to maintain a connection with the MCC. This leaves too many of us outside of the support circle. In many areas, the future MCC will have to depend on individuals moved by the spirit and their own consciences to self-identify with the MCC work, tradition, and spiritual calling, rather than on formal congregations. A couple of future trends would also indicate a need to be able to deal more effectively with "individuals" as well as "congregations". First, the term "Mennonite" is increasingly used to refer to a genetic/cultural/historic group separated from a specific set of religious beliefs meaning that traditional understandings of the term and organizations based on those understandings will have to evolve. Secondly, while the traditional Anabaptist concept of missions, service, Internationalism, and moral imperative is less and less applicable to labeled Mennonites, God has never stopped calling people to live according to those ideals, meaning that there are many "Anabaptist" Christians who have never heard of Mennonites or the MCC, but would in conscience be unified in spirit and purpose to the work and goals of the MCC. It would seem wise to find ways to bring those faith-based (as opposed to genetic) Anabaptists into the greater support network. Obviously, they do not belong to or identify with churches currently represented. It is also possible that individual members of that diaspora including other Anabaptist, perhaps even "Evangelical", traditions, might be attracted to the MCC support network. This assumes that the MCC has retained its original pan-Anabaptist perspective and is larger than the two remaining dominant conferences.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Mennonite Culture

606 agriculture AIMM Alcohol Alt-Oldenburger Amish Amish Prayer Amish voyeurism Anniversary of Russian Mennonites Architecture Archives Athletes Baptism Bess und Bettag Bible Study Bluffton College BMC Bob Jones University Bruderthaler Burial Customs Camp Funston Canadian Government Catherine the Great CCC Chaco Civil Rights Colonist Horse Congo Inland Mission Conscientious Objectors Consensus Cultural Criticism Death decals Definitions Dialogue diaspora Discipline Discrimination Divorce Drama Drugs Easter Emergent Church Movement ethnic violence Ethnicity Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Evangelical Mennonites Evangelicals exile Famine Fastpa folk art Footwashing Frente Menonita Front for the Defense of the Mennonite Colonies Furor mennoniticus Gardens gay Gay Marriage Gelassenheit Gemeinshaft Gender Studies General Conference German German Bible Gnadenfelde Goshen School Grace School grief Halodomar hate crimes Heirloom Seeds HMS Titanic Holocaust Holy Kiss Horses Hymns Identity Formation identity politics Immigration Immigration Song Inquisition Inter-faith Mennonites Jewish Diaspora Kairos Kleine Gemeinde Krimmer Mennonites Language LGBT Lustre Synthesis Lutheran and Mennonite Relations Magistracy Marriage Martyrs' Mirror MC-USA MCC Kits Mennonite Brethren Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Mennonite Decals Mennonite Diaspora Mennonite farming innovations Mennonite Flag Mennonite Heritage Plants Mennonite Horse Mennonite Identity Mennonite Literature Mennonite Refugees Mennonite Women Missions Molotschna Cattle Breed Movies Music Non-resistance Pacifism photography Pietism Plautdietsch Flag Plautdietsche Poetry Politics Postmodernism quilts Radio refugees Rites Roman Catholic and Mennonite Relations Roman Catholicism Russian Mennonite Flag Russian Mennonites Russian Orthodox Church secularism Shunning Southern Baptists Taxation Television Ten Thousand Villages Terms Viki-leaks Water Dowsing Wenger Mennonites Women's Studies World War 2 World War I


A. F. Wiens (1) A. H. Leahman (1) A. J. Wall (1) Abraham Gerber (1) Abram Groening (1) Adam Carroll (2) AIMM (3) Albert Wall (7) Allison Mack (1) Anne-Marie Goertzen Wall (1) Annie C. Funk (1) Aron Wall (1) B. F. Hamilton (1) Benjamin Mubenga (1) Benjamin Sprunger (1) Bernhard Dueck Kornelssen (1) Berry Friesen (1) Bitter Poets (3) Bob Jones University (2) Brandon Beachy (1) Brendan Fehr (1) Bruce Hiebert (1) C. Henry Niebuhr (1) C. R. Voth (1) Calvin Redekop (3) Carolyn Fauth (3) CBC News (1) Charles King (1) Chris Goertzen (1) Connie Mack (1) Corrie ten Boom (1) Dale Suderman (2) Daniel Friesen (1) Danny Klassen (1) David Classen (1) Dennis Wideman (1) Diane Driedger (3) Dick Lehman (1) Donald Kraybill (1) Donald Plett (1) Dora Dueck (1) Dustin Penner (1) Dwaine and Nancy Wall (1) Edna Ruth Byler (1) Eduard Wust (1) Elliott Tapaha (1) Elvina Martens (1) Eric Fehr (1) Esther K. Augsburger (1) Ethel Wall (1) Frente Menonita (1) Fritz and Alice Wall Unger (1) Gbowee (1) Georg Hansen (1) George P. Schultz (3) George S. Rempel (1) George Schultz (1) Gordon C. Eby (1) Goshen College (4) Gus Stoews (1) H. C. Wenger (1) H. F. Epp (1) Harold S. Bender (1) Heidi Wall Burns (2) Helen Wells Quintela (1) Henry Epp (1) Henry Toews (1) Ian Buruna (1) Isaac Peters (6) J. C. Wall (3) J. T. Neufeld (2) Jakob Stucky (1) James Duerksen (1) James Reimer (1) Jason Behr (1) Jeff Wall (1) Jim Kuebelbeck (1) Joetta Schlabach (2) Johann F. Kroeker (1) John Howard Yoder (1) John Jacob Wall (1) John R. Dick (1) John Rempel (1) John Roth (1) Jonathan Groff (1) Jonathan Toews (2) Jordi Ruiz Cirera (1) Kathleen Norris (4) Kelly Hofer (3) Kevin Goertzen (1) Keystone Pipeline (3) Leymah Gbowee (1) Linda May Shirley (1) Lionel Shriver (1) Lorraine Kathleen Fehr (2) Margarita Teichroeb (1) Marlys Wiens (2) Martin Fast (1) Matt Groening (2) Melvin D. Epp (1) Menno Simons (3) Micah Rauch (1) Michael Funk (1) Moody Bible Institute (2) Nancy Wall (4) Norma Jost Voth (1) O. J. Wall (2) Orlando J. Wall (3) Patrick Friesen (4) Peter Wall (1) Philip Landis (1) Phillip Jakob Spener (1) Rachael Traeholt (2) Randy Smart (3) Rhoda Janzen (1) Rob Nicholson (2) Robin Martins (1) Robyn Regehr (1) Roger Williams (1) Rosella Toews (1) Ruth Lederach (1) Sam Mullet (3) Sam Schmidt (1) Scot McKnight (1) Stacey Loewen (2) Stanley Hauerwas (2) Steven Wall (6) Susan Mark Landis (1) Taylor Kinney (1) Tom Airey (2) Victor Toews (4)