This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Bearing good fruit

Thank you for “Gay and Welcome” by JB Miller (At the Table, Aug. 29). I affirm that the gospel soil at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Sarasota, Fla., is producing good fruit. That is the criteria that Central District Conference speaker Mark Rupp is quoted as having proclaimed from Scripture. The Holy Spirit’s gifts are obvious in JB’s life and leadership in the congregation.

For 30-plus years we have watched Mennonites divide over responses to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. We have largely ignored the Bible’s model of how the church deals with such a conflict: Acts 15. The pastors and leaders of our welcoming congregations are the Paul-and-Barnabas observers and participants we should have been listening to as we made our decisions.

Thank you too for “MMN Donation Supports Racial Justice Education Work.” Here’s a good example of how the church can work on a debated stance like Black Lives Matter. I affirm the comments of Mennonite Mission Network’s Stanley W. Green and Peter Graber about how the Breaking Our Silence fund bears a similar kind of witness and points us in the Spirit’s direction.

Could we have a “breaking our silence” confession and stance for our members who were created with a different sexual orientation? We now have a whole generation of people who have grown up in our open congregations to guide us if we would follow the biblical path.

James E. Metzler
Sarasota, Fla.

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