U.S. Mennonites breathe in the Spirit
MC USA report
More than 7,500 Mennonites – including 4,200 high school youth and their sponsors – gathered in Columbus, Ohio, June 30–July 5, for Mennonite Church USA’s biennial convention, on the theme “Breathe and be filled” (John 20:21–22).
The 850 delegates passed 3 resolutions: opposing human trafficking, supporting health care access for all Americans, and calling the church to discernment on human sexuality. Delegates heard updates on the Corinthian health care plan for pastors, and on a new denominational office building in Elkhart, Ind. Dick Thomas of Ronks, Pa., was elected moderator for 2009–2013. The youth worshipped together, listened to speakers, and shared their views in “Speak Up!” sessions, including one with adult delegates.
Convention observer John Longhurst of Winnipeg noted the conference faces challenges, including decreasing giving and membership, and retaining youth, but overall, he observed, “Mennonite Church USA doesn’t look like a denomination in decline.”