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

My Thoughts...

A Year Amongst the EMB - FEBC Mennonites of Lustre, Montana video-link:
Thursday, 03 May, 2012


Click To View Video 






Presentation Model for Growth and Development of Bruderthaler Identity Structures
Saturday, 12 November, 2011

This is simply a working model illustrating the establishment, growth and development of the EMB narrative identity.  This model has been in the works since 2009 and will continue to be tweaked further as new and better information, models or comments become available. A narrative accompaniment exists but makes the presentation too long for a blog.

video


To Watch Bruderthaler Intellectual Evolution and Consequence

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.

Thanks.

Mennonite Culture

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