This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Lancaster leadership proposes withdrawal from MC USA

Lancaster (Pa.) Conference leadership is proposing that “LMC withdraw as an area conference of Mennonite Church USA,” according to a July 23 letter from Keith Weaver, LMC conference minister.

The joint conference executive council (CEC) and the bishop board met on July 17 to prepare for regional meetings Aug. 15 to Sept. 8.

“In a remarkable turn of events, the CEC and bishop board reached a unanimous agreement on a proposal to share in those regional meetings,” states the letter. Click here for the letter.

The document proposes that a model be developed in which “LMC congregations can maintain valued relationships with other groups that enhance the congregation’s missional call and purpose.”

“For example, some LMC congregations may wish to maintain relational connections in MC USA. We are in conversation with MC USA about how that might be possible,” states the letter. “Other LMC congregations may wish to network with Evana and more clarity will be emerging about how that can work. Other LMC congregations are already networking with various groups and that will continue.”

“The recent proposal is an attempt to hold Lancaster Conference together, but also to provide meaningful connections to other groups, including Mennonite Church USA,” said Ervin Stutzman, executive director of MC USA, on July 25. “It has prompted vigorous and at times anguished conversation about the specific commitments which such relationships might entail.”

By the end of next week, a more detailed document will be sent out to LMC congregations. All LMC members will be encouraged to study the material and attend one of the regional meetings.

The letter ends with a call to prayer.

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