Delegates reflect on peacemaking and the wind of the Spirit

Delegates sing at the opening of the Delegate Assembly on Thurs. July 4 at MennoCon19.

 

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Mennonite Church USA) — In the July 4 delegate equipping session, facilitator Tom Yoder Neufeld focused on the unity of the Spirit, describing the Spirit as a force where God is the energy that brings life to everything, using the definitions of spirit as wind or breath. “One thing you can’t do with the wind is control it,” he said.

“The body of Christ is the womb in which the new human is formed, and it is where life is being given life by the breath of God,” said Yoder Neufeld. “But just because we talk about Christ’s womb of new creation doesn’t mean that it’s not a turbulent place.”

Yoder Neufeld described the church using the image of a quilt that incorporates many pieces of scrap fabric or a building made from materials that have been thrown away. “The church is exactly what God wants when it is made up of surprising bits and pieces,” he said.

The delegate session focused on peace witness, and the Israel-Palestine working group providing an update highlighting items from the Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Implementation Report.

Delegates responded to the question “what part of our shared peace witness should we work together toward for the next biennium?” Table groups shared feedback that named a variety issues including immigration, climate change and creation care, finding reconciliation within the church, extending welcome to people who are LGBTQ and providing radical hospitality within the church.