As this blog goes live, I am probably running around trying to get things ready for the Mennonite Church Canada National Assembly taking place this weekend. Quite a few months ago I was asked to be a part of the worship planning team, and now the time has finally come. After months of preparation, we are finally ready and excited to worship and discern together (You can watch the live stream here).
The problem is that the topic requiring discernment is not that exciting. Actually, it’s daunting. This special assembly was called in the middle of October to figure out the future of our national church. This has been an ongoing conversation for the past 6 or 7 years, and we are finally coming to the point of voting on a denominational structure that will change the way we do church and interact with each other around the country.
I plan to write about this change in the near future, especially because the multiple documents and guides make it quite difficult and tiresome to understand. But as we gear up for the actual event, my mixed emotions of nervousness, excitement, sadness, and disappointment lead me to the only thing I know how to do in these moments - pray.
And so, I offer this prayer for our church as we meet to discern where God is calling us to next.
In Your goodness and infinite mercy,
You have called us to be the church.
You have welcomed us into Your family
and given us a new identity.
You have shown us what unconditional love looks like
when You decided not to leave us alone.
You have made us in Your image
and shown us the way to life.
Your forgiveness and Your grace
never run out for us.
For all these things, I thank You.
Thank You that I have been able to be
a part of Mennonite Church Canada.
Thank You for those faithful brothers and sisters
who gave of their gifts, time, and money
to build up a body of believers
from coast to coast across our country.
Thank You for the many ways we worked together
to further Your kingdom in this world;
to work for peace and justice;
to care for our children as they grow and mature;
to foster relationships between people;
and to share the vision of healing and hope for all.
As You watch what’s going on in our church now,
do You shake Your head?
Do You wonder where we went wrong,
like some of us do?
Do You wish, like us, that change isn’t necessary?
Or are You waiting patiently for this weekend,
waiting for us to change so that we can once again
focus on the things You call us to?
We need You.
In this time of uncertainty
we have no choice but to put our trust in You.
Lead us and guide us as we decide on
the direction of our church this weekend.
Be the centre of all we do and say.
May the love we have for You
be stronger than the differences that divide us.
May Your unity draw us together.
Thank You for our staff and witness workers
who have dedicated their lives to the church.
As we discern together, give them Your peace.
Give them comfort in knowing that they are
a part of our church now, and that their work
has been invaluable in fulfilling our vision.
Please guide them and keep them.
May this Assembly be a testimony
of our faith in You and commitment to each other.
May the words of our mouths
and the meditation of our hearts
be acceptable in Your sight, our rock and our redeemer.