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MCUSA Convention 2015 RMC/IMC Delegate Blog

 

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:19 AM

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:17 AM

Overlooking Missouri River--creation care

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:15 AM

Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:07 AM

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:06 AM

Tuesday’s first session of delegates was a time of learning the process, introductions, and beginning to receive reports from the various Mennonite agencies. There are more than 800 delegates divided into tables of 8-9 persons. My table leader is Brenda Martin Hurst, a pastor from eastern Pennsylvania. Delegates at my table were from various states and professions: a farmer, 3 teachers (including me), 2 pastors, conference minister, and a social worker. We varied in ages as well, We covenanted to listen to one another and to be respectful at all times. We used a ‘talking stone’ with peace inscribed in it, and we were asked to speak only when we had the talking stone. It worked well.

Mennonite Mission Network was our first agency to report. It was good to see Stanley Green , executive director of MMN. We heard of collaborative efforts between churches in Benin (Africa) and Indiana, and Colombia/Ecuador/Venezuela and churches in the northwest conference. God is working in all these places to bring healing and hope to the world.

Tuesday evening prayer walk

On Tuesday evening, several hundred MC-USA delegates, attendees, and other family member gathered at the Holy Trinity Cathedral parking lot to go on a prayer walk with 5 ‘prayer points’. I am glad that I participated both because I had the opportunity to walk around the downtown area of Kansas City, but also to reflect on each of the 5 ‘stops’ along the way that had important meaning for us.

  1. First we passed the Golden Dome of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. We were invited to pray for all the faith communities who minister in Kansas City on a regular basis.
  2. Next we passed the statue of explorers Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea, their Native American guide. We prayed for all those affected by racism and repented of our complicity in unjust systems.
  3. The 3rd focal point was an overlooking where we could see the expanse of the Missouri River, and beautiful trees, and a community garden. Our prayers turned to the wonder of God’s creation and the need for ‘creation care’, an important aim for all in MC-USA.
  4. Then we walked around a statue of 2 small children at the base of a black man. Our prayer focus was to reflect on the murders in various cities over the past year, including the state of Missouri, where racism and hatred were still evident in our land. Our prayers turned to reconciliation and peace.
  5. Lastly, the group headed back to the Kansas City convention center where all our delegate sessions, worship, and seminars were being held. We prayed for the church, and the persons doing the work of the church this week, asking for Christ to be in our midst as we are “on the way.”

We then went to our first joint worship service. You have heard out that night’s message in JT from Bryan. It was a powerful start to our time together ‘On the Road’.

From 10-11pm we went to a marvelous hymn sing led by the Tom and Lois Harder family. Their daughters played violin on some hymns, and Tom played guitar, or we sang hymns from The Mennonite Hymnal and Sing the Journey a cappella or with a keyboard. It was an inspirational way to end the day!

Tuesday--first day of events

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA7er @ 7:05 AM

 

Golden Dome Cathedral

 

MC USA in KC

Posted by Ariel Boehr on OP10er @ 10:26 PM

First Two Resolutions

Posted by Ariel Boehr on OP5er @ 5:15 PM
  • The Faithful Witness Amidst Endless War Resolution passed on Wednesday with broad support. The resolution specifically addresses drone warfare, and "calls the agencies, educational institutions and conferences affiliated with Mennonite Church USA to ministries of healing and renewal in response to the moral injuries experienced by those who feel the guilt for having killed in the name of security and experienced by those who feel no guilt for the killing done on their behalf (John 8:11; Amos 5:21-24)." It was an important commitment to peace, and a very uncomfortable reminder that we sometimes trust violence instead of Jesus for our security.
  • The delegate body also discussed the Israel-Palestine Resolution on Wednesday. Concerns were raised about the arrogant tone of the document, considering the Unites States' weighty role in this conflict. Questions were also asked about how realistic it might be to actually follow the call "to consider how our financial lives are enmeshed in the policies of occupation through our investments, individual purchases and tax dollars." And some delegates were concerned that the document was too one-sided, only in support of the Palestinians. Instead of voting on the resolution, the delegate body tabled the resolution until 2017. I personally fear that 2017 is too long to wait, and I mourn that we didn't respond in some way to the Palestinian cry for help. 

We Are Praying For You

Posted by Ariel Boehr on OP4er @ 4:16 PM

The children greeted us before Thursday's delegate session.

first joint worship service on Tuesday evening

Posted by Lynn Kennell on OA12er @ 12:15 AM
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