Difference between revisions of "Ecumenical Dialogue"

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Revision as of 00:29, 16 June 2012

Mennonite World Conference President Bishop Danisa Ndlovu and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko embrace following Dr Noko's message to the 2009 MWC World Assembly concerning Lutheran regret for persecution of Anabaptists. © Lowell Brown[2]
Ecumenical Dialogue Between Mennonites and Other Christian Faith Traditions
Lutherrose.png Baptists.png SeventhDayAdventists.png Popevatican.jpg Calvin.png
Lutherans Baptists Seventh-Day Adventists Roman Catholic Church Reformed Church
Church of God

This site, currently under construction, offers a window into the relatively recent involvement of Mennonite (and Anabaptist-related groups) in ecumenical involvements of various sorts. Some expressions of Mennonite ecumenicity have emerged in response to formal invitations from other Christian groups seeking a "healing of memory" in light of the conflict that surrounded our origins in the 16th century. Other ecumenical engagements have been more informal--lay initiatives seeking deeper understanding and reconciliation at a local level. This site provides access to bibliographic information on Anabaptist-Mennonite ecumenical involvements, texts of working papers and formal statements, an overview of the emerging reception history and links to other resources. Please add additional relevant information based on your own interest and expertise!

Mennonite World Conference President Danisa Ndlovu of Zimbabwe presents Lutheran World Fellowship President Bishop Mark S. Hanson with a wooden foot-washing tub to represent Mennonites' commitment to a future “when the distinguishing mark of Lutheran and Anabaptist-Mennonite relationships is boundless love and unfailing service” in Stuttgart, Germany.[1]

Interchurch and Interfaith Dialogue

Over the years, Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada and other Mennonite organizations like Mennonite World Conference have engaged in conversation between other Christian churches and denominations.

Organization Websites Related to Interchurch Relationships Notes
Mennonite Church USA: Interchurch Relations. Online: Interchurch Relations
Mennonite Church Canada: Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations Reference Council. Online:Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations
Mennonite World Conference: Interchurch Dialogue. Online:Interchurch Dialogue

Stuttgart 2010

"STUTTGART, Germany (RNS/ENInews) A global Lutheran assembly in Germany has asked for forgiveness for the 16th-century persecution of Anabaptists, the religious reformers whose modern-day descendants include Mennonites. “We remember how Anabaptist Christians knew suffering and persecution, and we remember how some of our most honored Reformation leaders defended this persecution in the name of faithfulness,” said Bishop Mark Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation, at a joint service of repentance with Mennonites on July 22." Excerpt taken from The Christian Index, accessed here.

Tri-Lateral Dialogue on Baptism

Local and Grassroots Initiatives


"Bridgefolk is a movement of sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other's traditions, explore each other's practices, and honor each other's contribution to the mission of Christ's Church. Together we seek better ways to embody a commitment to both traditions. We seek to make Anabaptist-Mennonite practices of discipleship, peaceableness, and lay participation more accessible to Roman Catholics, and to bring the spiritual, liturgical, and sacramental practices of the Catholic tradition to Anabaptists." (Excerpt taken from the official Bridgefolk website.)

"Heal Our Land" Conference

"From May 1-4, 2003, in a conference center at Winterthur, in the mountains of Switzerland, over 1000 Christians from all over the world met to joyfully worship, prayerfully seek and faithfully obey the God who heals our land by healing our broken relationships. This “Heal Our Land” conference was sponsored by the Stiftung Schleife, a Christian ministry devoted to serving the body of Christ and headed by Geri Keller, a Swiss Reformed minister." (Excerpt taken from "Come, Father, Heal Our Land.")

"A Swiss Reformed pastor for thirty years has carried a burden for reconciliation between these two groups. Geri Keller, founder of a parachurch ministry called Stiftung Schleife, organized the conference. There were many Anabaptists who attended from Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium and other parts of Europe, as well as Canada. The Swiss Reformed church was represented by approximately forty Reformed pastors and many lay people, who joined together for the four-day conference. Forty Amish from Montana and Idaho and seventeen Mennonites from the Lancaster and Franconia, PA areas were invited to participate in the conference. My wife Janet and I attended, representing Mennonites from the Franconia Mennonite Conference area. The total number of persons attending the conference exceeded 800." (Excerpt taken from "500-Year Old Swiss Wound Had to be Healed.")

Anabaptist Connections

"Anabaptist Connections" is comprised of two teams, both Amish and Mennonite. These two teams have committed to work together in a covenant relationship. For the first time in Anabaptist history have Amish and Mennonites come together in overcoming ancient animosities and divisions, to work as a corporate team in forging healing and forgiveness." (Excerpt taken from the Anabaptist Connection website.)

"Unlocking our Inheritance" Conference

Swiss Reformed Pastors and Leaders met together with Anabaptists from all denominations, April 7-9, 2005 in New Holland, Pa.

"Unification of all believers in Jesus Christ was a theme of the opening session of a three-day conference titled “Unlocking the Inheritance.’’ Despite differences, Hoover said, all in attendance are united in Christ.

Forgiveness and healing were related themes. The Swiss traveled here to ask for forgiveness from Mennonites, Amish, Brethren and other Anabaptists and to heal relationships with them." (Excerpt taken from "Going about the Business of Forgiveness.")

See also: "Anabaptists, Swiss Persecutors will make Amends - 500 years later."

Bibliography of Ecumenism


Stuttgart 2010

Stuttgart in the News Notes
"Apology Given for Mennonites Persecution." August 12, 2010. The Christian Index. Online: http://www.christianindex.org/6666.article
Esposito, Nicolas. "Lutherans Ask Forgiveness from Mennonites." July 23, 2010. Ecumenical News. Online: http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/lutherans-seek-to-reconcile-with-mennonites-1076/
Mast-Kirschning, Ulrike. “Lutherans reconcile with Mennonites 500 years after bloody persecution.” July 26, 2010. Deutsche Welle. Online: http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,5837683,00.html
“Healing Memories:Reconciling in Christ."Report of the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission. 2010. The Lutheran World Federation and The Mennonite World Conference. This is a the official report of the Stuttgart gathering. Online PDF file: http://www.mwc-cmm.org/images/files/DialogueFiles/OEA-Lutheran-Mennonites-web-EN.pdf
“...and Forgive Us: Lutherans Repent Anabaptist Persecution." Lutheran World Information 06,2010. The Lutheran World Federation. This is an LWF newsletter about the Stuttgart gathering and the process of reconciliation. Online PDF file: http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/LWI-201006-EN-low.pdf

Impact of Stuttgart on Mennonite Congregations Worldwide

Mennonite-Lutheran Reconciliation in USA Notes
"Coming Together." February 27, 2011. Warwick River Mennonite Church. Mennonite/Lutheran worship service. http://wrmc.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/coming-together/
Klassen, Mary E.“Events mark reconciliation among Lutherans and Mennonites.” April 18, 2012. Mennonite Church USA. Tree planting service in Elkhart, IN. http://mennoniteusa.org/2012/04/18/events-mark-reconciliation-among-lutherans-and-mennonites-2/
Kauffman, Johnny. “Interchurch guests to attend Pittsburgh 2011.” June 17, 2011. The Mennonite. http://www.themennonite.org/public_press_releases/Interchurch_guests_to_attend_Pittsburgh_2011
Gafkjen, Bishop Bill. “About Your Synod: Reconciliation among Lutherans and Mennonites. ” May 2012. I-K Lutheran. Lutheran account of Elkhart, IN, tree planting. Online: http://www.grace-peace.org/newsletteriksynod.pdf
“Mennonites, Lutherans Reconcile 500-Year-Old Rift." May 18, 2011. Southeastern PA Synod, ELCA. Lutherans and Mennonites share communion in Southeastern PA. http://www.ministrylink.org/article/mennonites-lutherans-reconcile-500-year-old-rift/
Ruth, John and Bishop Claire Burkat. “Sounding the Gospel of our common Christ: Lutherans and Mennonites move toward right relationships." May 6, 2011. Franconia Conference Intersections. Mennonite/Lutheran dialogue/reconciliation in Franconia, PA. http://franconiaconference.org/intersections/sounding-the-gospel PDF version of Intersections: PDF
“Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ." 2012(?). Advent Lutheran Church. Dialogue between local Lutheran and Mennonite congregations in Harleysville, PA. http://www.adventharleysville.org/advent-news/59-programs-and-events/158-healing-memories-reconciling-in-christ
Yoder, Evangeline.“Lutherans reconcile with Virginia Peninsula Mennonite congregations." November 1, 2010. Virginina Mennonite Missions. Reconciliation service in Newport News, VA. http://vmmissions.org/2010/11/lutheran-reconciliation/
Mennonite-Lutheran Reconciliation in Canada Notes
Reimer, Margaret Loewen. “Lutherans, Mennonites study together”." January 23, 2012. Canadian Mennonite. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201201/2586718691.html
Reimer, Margaret Loewen and Allen G. Jorgenson. "HEALING MEMORIES, RECONCILING IN CHRIST: A LUTHERAN-MENNONITE STUDY GUIDE FOR CONGREGATIONS." Commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and Mennonite Church Canada. Online PDF: Online Study Guide
Rogalsky, Dave. “Heartfelt apology: Faith Mennonite welcomes Lutherans on Reformation Sunday.” January 10, 2011. Canadian Mennonite. Shared worship in Leamington, Ont. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201101/2236084221.html
Petkau, Evelyn Rempel.“Meeting our neighbours: GOD AT WORK IN THE CHURCH. Lutheran and Mennonite congregations eat, pray and learn together.” May 5, 2012. Canadian Mennonite.' Shared services and meals in Winnipeg. Online http://www.readperiodicals.com/201203/2609261521.html
Suderman, Brenda. “Lutherans and Mennonites celebrate new relationship.” December 31, 2010. Winnipeg Free Press. Shared service and celebration. Online:http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/lutherans-and-mennonites-celebrate-new-relationship-112711644.html
“Snapshots: Gold at work in the Church.” April 16, 2012. Canadian Mennonite. Shared evening meetings and study in Waterloo. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201204/2657044601.html
Rogalsky, Dave. “'Intermarriage' leads to peaceful co-existence: Southwestern Ontario Lutherans and Mennonites have long been reconciled.” June 27, 2011. Canadian Mennonite. Local congregations meeting together. Online:http://www.readperiodicals.com/201106/2387626451.html
Froese, Deborah. “'Fraternal visit' affirms Lutheran, Mennonite reconciliation." October 18, 2010. Canadian Mennonite. Church leaders meet together. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201010/2184066071.html
Dyck, Dan. “Lutherans welcome a humbled Mennonite.” August 22, 2011. Canadian Mennonite. Mennonite worships at Lutheran convention in Saskatoon. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201108/2436175301.html
Petkau, Evelyn Rempel. “Lutherans, Mennonites break bread together." November 14, 2011. Canadian Mennonite. Shared communion and meal in Springstein, Manitoba. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201111/2519322441.html
Benner, Dick. “'Rattling everyone's paradigms': Professors switch theological sides in Mennonite/Lutheran conversations.” January 10, 2011. Canadian Mennonite. Seminary professors converse Wilfrid Laurier University. Online: http://www.readperiodicals.com/201101/2236084201.html
Mennonite-Lutheran Reconciliation in Latin America Notes Excerpt Translations:
“Lutherans and Mennonites Affirm Joint Concerns for Peace: Reconciliation Action Can Create ‘New Scenarios of Hope.’” April 16, 2010. Lutheran World Federation. Joint celebration in BOGOTÁ, Colombia. Online: http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf/index.php/lutherans-and-mennonites-affirm-joint-concerns-for-peace.html
“RECONCILIACION DE MENONITAS Y LUTERANOS.” May 10, 2011. Iglesia Anabautista Menonita de Buenos Aires. Shared celebration and reconciliation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Online:http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=220788441267623&comments “In Buenos Aires, Mennonites and Lutherans have coexisted for years without interacting with each other. But now is the time when we should really start to relate and the first thing we will do is gather together to celebrate this reconciliation…. This will take place Sunday, May 15, at the Evangelical German Church at 162 Esmeralda St., Buenos Aires, at 17 o’clock. We invite the Mennonites and Lutherans of Buenos Aires and of Argentina, friends of other churches, and anyone who appreciates the fact that in a world full of violence, gestures of unity and understanding can be made…. Through personal testimonies, we will relive the emotional moments experienced in Paraguay and Germany when the reconciliation was formalized. We will hear a life testimony from a Mennonite and from a Lutheran, we will read biblical passages central to both traditions, we will pray together, and under the direction of master Homero Perera, we will sing hymns and songs from both traditions as well as songs and hymns that we all Christians share….
Meurer, Heitor. “Luteranos y menonitas celebran paz y perdón." April 16, 2010. Agencia Latinoamericana y Carbibena de Comunicacion. Shared gathering in Bogota, Colombia. Online:http://www.alcnoticias.net/interior.php?lang=687&codigo=16634 “As a concrete step towards the apology given be the Lutheran community towards Mennonites, the Pre-Assembly of the FLM of Bogotá, which met this week, made space to share experiences, acceptances, and mutual understandings…. Through a delegation of the Colombian Mennonite Church, coordinated by pastor/president Tomas Orjuela and the vice-pastor/president Isdalia Ortega, the Lutherans had the opportunity to better understand the work of Mennonites in the country and the region. “This action of yours, Lutherans, demonstrates much humility and we are touched,” commented Ricardo Esquivia, director of the Mennonite NGO Sowing Peace. For Mennonite pastor Ricardo Pinzon, “in a globalized world we need to globalize peace and non-violent incentives. With your attitude, we can build, through forgiveness and reconciliation, new scenes of hope.”
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Mennonite-Lutheran Reconciliation in Europe Notes
Rempel, Ron. “Tree plantings mark deepening of Mennonite-Lutheran relations." November 10, 2011. Mennonite World Conference. Tree planting in Wittenberg, Germany. Online: http://www.mwc-cmm.org/index.php/news-releases/129-tree-plantings-mark-deepening-of-mennonite-lutheran-relations
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Dialogue with Baptists Notes
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Seventh-day Adventists

Theological conversations between members of Mennonite World Conference and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists met from June 28 to July 1, 2011, in Silver Spring, Maryland, headquarters to the Seventh-day Adventists Church.

Dialogue with Seventh-day Adventists Notes
"Mennonites begin ecumenical dialogue with Seventh-Day Adventists." Online article.[3]
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Roman Catholic Church

Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church Notes
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Reformed Church

Dialogue with Reformed Church Notes
Something, Something. DVD
Words Words Libretto printed as program for presentation at Goshen College, 1971 October 31
Insert bibliographic citation here. Includes Martyrs Mirror oratorio

Church of God

Dialogue with Reformed Church Notes
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See also Stuttgart 2010, Tri-Lateral Dialogue on Baptism