This past weekend I joined nearly 200 members from Mennonite Church Canada for an on-line study conference: “Table Talk: Does the church still have legs?”
It was inspiring and invigorating to listen, engage, and wrestle with questions about the church’s identity, mission, purpose, etc. especially during this challenging time of covid pandemic. Something I appreciated was Sara Wenger Shank’s observation concerning what church is NOT. She said:
“The church is not:
a membership list
a white Swiss German or Russian Mennonite Church
a black, Chinese, Ethopian or Karen church
an efficient, well-organized, smartly structured institutional church,
a holier than thou, separate from the world, tribal church.
Of course, we have aspects of all of the above in our ways of doing church – but none of these are what defines our identity as the church.”
How do you define the church.. the identity / purpose / mission of the church?
At this time when programs are being re-imagined, when we worship in-person and from home at the same time, when social gatherings are limited, we are invited to consider: “when this is over, what kind of congregation do we want to be? What do we want to say we have done? What is God’s calling for us now?”
May we wrestle deeply with these questions, listening for God and listening to one another.