This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Mountain States initiates relationship with Mexican Mennonites

A few months ago, Herm Weaver (in photo on right), Mountain States Mennonite Conference minister, among many e-mails, happened to receive one in Spanish from an organization in Mexico.

He read it quickly and started to press the “delete” key when something stopped him.

He decided to forward me the letter.

“In the Conference of Evangelical Anabaptist Mennonite Churches of Mexico (CIEAMM), we are going through interesting and important changes to carry out the ministry God has given us. In this context, we have decided to open our hearts to other options for community relations with other conferences or conventions of the United States, and to interlace ties of friendship and mutual aid. These first lines are to explore if there is a possibility or interest in initiating a fraternal relationship,” said the letter.

Almost immediately, I made the call to the Moderator of this organization, Fernando Pérez.

After the usual greetings, I asked: “Do you know that our Conference has just licensed a sister who is in relationship with another woman, and we are in the midst of a storm here in Mennonite Church USA?”

He replied: “Yes, we know, but that’s not a problem for us. Here, we have an open dialogue about this issue.”

Since then, we have had several conversations that connected us even more.

On Nov. 17, Herm Weaver and I were on a plane to Mexico City to meet these new brothers who were
excited to meet us.

The first day, we visited several churches and in the afternoon, some of the pastors met with us to show documents and photographs of their activities. We found an active and alive Conference.

A group of 11 churches that over a few years, worked hard to rescue their Anabaptist identity.

A conference concerned about the emotional and spiritual health of its people. A conference involved in the social and civic life of the city.

My attempt at translation was sometimes in vain because Herm surprised me with his ability to understand Spanish.

The truth is that there was a good connection with our Mexican brothers. We returned with the firm intention of formalizing this relationship and to look for ways to enrich both conferences.

Next year, some of the managers of this conference will be visiting us to continue cultivating this relationship. And if any of our churches want to visit Mexico City, we can coordinate that.

I think it will be a valuable experience.

This originally ran in the December issue of Zing! Mennonite States Mennonite Conference newsletter. Lázaro is pastor of El Centro Iglesia in Colorado Springs, Colo., and SEED director for Mountain States Mennonite Conference.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!