In “Virginia leaders offer guidance after Mennonite Church USA delegate vote causes concern” (Oct. 14), what struck you [AW editors] was where the leaders’ statement differed from the denomination’s direction: You led with its sentence upholding Virginia Conference’s polity of suspending the ministry credential of any pastor who conducts a same-sex marriage ceremony. That was not what struck us in Virginia who see texts and themes in Scripture showing that all forms of same-sex sex are outside of God’s intent. We are struck by the statement’s very next sentence, which sketches how a door might be opened to change that polity, showing sympathy to the direction being taken by MC USA. [The sentence says, “We also know that God’s Spirit actively speaks and so anticipate that as leaders sense tension between the spirit and letter of the law, we will together seek to discern a Spirit-guided, faithful way forward.”]
The statement said both things because our conference is starkly divided; we are both strongly traditional and strongly progressive. We have never had a Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) to enable us to join together in saying what “seems good to us and to the Holy Spirit.” That might be the most important story about our conference.
Harold Miller, Broadway, Va.