South Central Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA will hold four regional discernment meetings about its relationship with the denomination Jan. 16-20.
The SCMC Network Leadership Team stated in an Oct. 24 letter to congregations that it senses a strong commitment in the conference “to the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. But the same cannot be said about our relationship with MC USA.”
Citing the LGBTQ-affirming “Repentance and Transformation” resolution passed by MC USA delegates in May, the team said there has been “a clear call from some to disassociate from MC USA for theological differences.”
“At the same time, some of our member churches continue to find value in our relationship with MC USA and are reluctant to sever those ties,” reported the team. “And others believe that being forced to choose between MC USA and SCMC would cause unnecessary division in their congregations.”
The team requested prayer “as we are feeling the immense pressure of this time in the life of our conference.”
The team expressed an obligation to hear and respect all voices in the January meetings and encouraged members to prepare by reflecting on several questions, including:
— How is being associated with MC USA positively or negatively impacting your congregation or your local ministry?
— If your congregation has left MC USA (or is considering doing so), how does having other congregations in SCMC who continue to participate in MC USA impact your congregation or your local ministry?
— If SCMC continues as an MC USA conference, how would that be likely to impact your congregation or your local ministry?