Vision: Healing and Hope (Mennonite Church, General Conference Mennonite Church , 1995)

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Vision: Healing and Hope (Mennonite Church, General Conference Mennonite Church, 1995)

Vision

God calls us to be followers of Jesus Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that God's healing and hope flow through us to the world.

Priorities

To follow Jesus Christ more faithfully, we are called to:
  • enrich our prayer, worship, and study of the Scriptures;
  • offer all that we are and have to God.
To grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, we want to:
  • call and nurture congregational leaders for ministry in a changing environment;
  • practice love, forgiveness, and hospitality that affirm our diversity and heal our brokenness.
To live as people of healing and hope we are committed to:
  • invite others to faith in Jesus Christ;
  • seek God's peace in our homes, work, neighborhoods, and the world.

Context of Statement

A Vision and Goals Committee worked as a joint committee of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church beginning in 1991. Simultaneously another commiittee was working in an Inter-Mennonite Confession of Faith. Both statements and action toward merger / realignment of the Mennonite Church, General Conference Mennonite Church and Conference of Mennonites in Canada were approved at a 1995 joint delegate assembly assemblies in Wichita, Kansas. The final realignment was approved in 1999 in St. Louis, Missouri. After the merger, Vision: Healing and Hope became the vision statement for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.

The Vision and Goals Committee was charged with presenting a vision and setting priorities for the denominations as they entered the 21st century. The proposed statement was warmly received by the delegates in 1995 and was ultimately approved with only a handful of dissenting votes.

Members of the committee included:

General Conference Mennonite Church: Clare Ann Ruth Hefflebower (co-chair), Abe Bergen, Janeen Bertsche Johnson, Ronald Krehbiel, Alberto Quintela, Vern Preheim (staff)

Mennonite Church: Donella Clemens (co-chair), Stanley Green, Gerald Hughes, Eleanor Snyder, Rick Stiffney, James M. Lapp (staff)

Statements by the Mennonite Church General Assembly state the understanding of the Mennonite Church at the time of the action. Statements have informal authority and influence in the denomination; they have formal authority as confirmed or endorsed by area Mennonite Church area conferences and/or congregations. The effect of such statements is similar in the General Conference Mennonite Church.

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