The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our November 2019 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Journeys with church.
Description of the theme:
While we recognize that “church” comes in many forms and means different things to different people, we ask, Why do we gather together with others who seek to follow Jesus? Hebrews 10:25 urges “not neglecting to meet together.” Humans need meaningful connection and community in order to thrive. The Center for Disease Control recommends for our mental wellness offering “activities that bring people together so they feel connected and not alone.” Church can bring people together for specific purposes, among them: to worship God, to deepen their connection to the Creator, to be accountable to each other, for encouragement and strength due to their experiences of oppression, and to build community. The New Testament calls the church a household or family of God as well as the body of Christ. Increasingly, many choose to participate in nontraditional forms of church or do not attend church at all. Others are returning to church after being absent for years. What is your journey with how you engage or relate to church?
Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:
- How do you define “church”? What does it mean to be together, to worship? Tell us your story and be sure to includes the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- What is your experience with church? Has it been mostly positive or negative? How so? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- Why do you attend church? Is it merely a habit do you find specific benefits from it? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- Why do you not attend church? Did you leave because of some negative experience? Simply lose interest? Have limited access to a congregations that feel safe or welcoming? Have you found alternative activities that meet your needs? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- How do you understand the Bible’s teaching about why regularly gathering together as believers is a good and beneficial thing?
Submissions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org no later than Oct. 1.
We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our editorial guidelines.
Have a comment on this story? Write to the editors. Include your full name, city and state. Selected comments will be edited for publication in print or online.