I wanted to share this project that we started as a Sunday school class as a way to get to know other young adults in the area across denominations. Out of this project we hope to develop a website in our area for local young adults to list events and network better. I’d challenge other young adults groups to consider doing something similar as way of connecting with your local community by joining forces with other Christian brother and sisters.
Young Adults Begin Ecumenical Sunday School Project
By Denver Steiner
Operation “Orrville Church Visitation” kicked off this past Sunday, November 11, when members of the young adult Sunday school class from OMC (Orrville Mennonite Church) visited our church neighbor Orrville Baptist Church for their morning young adult Sunday school time. We began the morning with refreshments and coffee while meeting and fellowshipping with church members. The introductions continued as we moved into the Sunday school time, and we got to know two Buehler’s employees, a laser operator, an electrician, and several other Christian brothers and sisters connected to our community. Following a prayer, the leader of the class, David Barber, led the group in a study of Galatians 3.
In Galatians, Paul writes to a church that was forcing its Gentile members to follow Jewish customs and laws. In chapter 3, Paul tells the Galatians that they do not receive the Holy Spirit through obeying the law; rather it is through faith in Christ alone. Through faith in Christ, we are no longer bound to the curse of the law. How refreshing it is that experiencing Christ isn’t bound to obeying a set of rules or steps outlined by our denomination and traditions! Christ transcends that, and through faith in Him, we are all children of God. There is neither Mennonite nor Baptist, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (paraphrase of Galatians 3:26-28).
What a fitting passage for our first church visitation. With this church visitation project, the young adults at OMC hope to meet other young adults in the Orrville area for the purpose of Christian fellowship with other members of Christ’s church in order to create a more unified Christian witness to our neighborhood.
For more information about this project and upcoming church visitations, check out our website: http://orrvillemenno.net/ya/. We encourage other small groups to consider undertaking similar projects as a way to meet other members of Christ’s body in your community in order to grow together in faith while sharing Christ’s love with your neighborhood.
Ecumenical activism is something that is really important to a number of Mennonite bodies. MWC representatives were just at the Vatican a few weeks ago. http://www.mwc-cmm.org/News/MWC/071010rls1.html
In Argentina, most Mennonite congregations resist any kind of ecumenical involvement (especially with Catholics who are generally not considered Christian by most Protestants), and since this means they have to work alone (as they are usually the only Mennonite church in their area) they have been swept up in the ultra-conservative neo-pentecostal movement.
Okay, so that was too much name calling for the aforementioned movement, but that is what I was proudly told by a member that they call themselves. It just looks funny with so many hypens when translated into English. The movement is fairly anti-modern and prides it’s self on it’s “fundamentalism” and “resistance to change,” but the truth is that is has changed a whole lot over time. That’s another post that someone who studies can write.
Good luck learned together across denominations. La Iglesia Menonita/Anabautista de Buenos Aires is a congregation that is super involved ecumenically in Buenos Aires, who are seriously working together on issues like human rights, immigrant relationships and rights, and peace. http://www.menonitas.org.ar/identidad2.html
I’m not sure EXACTLY how relevant this is to this post, though since it’s tagged “Emerging Church” I’ll assume there’s some relevance.
Mark Van Steenwyk (founder of the Jesus Manifesto blog) has started a site called Submergent that is specifically intended to be a place for conversation between Anabaptists and emerging church people. The conversation is open to people who may or may not consider themselves Anabaptist. Mark is part of a sort of unofficial sub-cadre of people within Emergent that has been dubbed the “Hauerwas mafia” for the attention they pay to Yoder’s and Hauerwas’ ideas on theology and postmodernism (specifically pacifism).