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  • ICOMB Statement to USMB Study Conference 2013 – ICOMB
    for public schools 4 Any time there is a growing connection between church and state the church is drawn into compromising on issues pushed by the state The church must be alert to what s happening and to be strong to take a stand where called for On Peace 1 The church in our global family understands the need for a commitment to peace a peace theology and a witness to peace through Christ because violence is so rampant in many countries 2 Some of our churches exist in peaceful countries and have not had to develop a strongly articulated peace position They recognize this difference and offer prayers for others in our global family who must find their way 3 Many in our global family rely on a message of peace in areas of witness to Muslims Some say we cannot reach Muslims authentically without the message of peace Where people suffer for their faith the stories of our Anabaptist history of persecution and martyrdom for their beliefs provide personal comfort and strengthen our faith family identity 4 Turning the other cheek is an exercise of power because the weak person thus sets the agenda and whoever sets the agenda has power African source 5 The churches of our global family have not all been trained to critique and discuss conflicting positions They often fragment over trivial disagreements and in fights for power status influence and access to resources This happens at local church and conference levels They need and want the gift of peace and conflict management A Comment to this Study Conference from Brazil The attempt to hear one another from different parts of the world can really help us to grow We are thankful for the interest shown and the request for our response It would

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2013/02/04/icomb-statement-to-usmb-study-conference-2013/ (2016-02-16)
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  • US MB Study Conference Day 3 – Final – ICOMB
    the challenges faced in our international community it struck me that we are in a spiritual struggle throughout the world How vigilant we must be Prayerful Submitted to the Holy Spirit Deepening our love and unity Students of the Word Resistant to the powers To me these are core activities It s not just about finding truth but doing it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the bonds of love How we find truth and commit to it builds the body and its witness These processes also leave some of the results unpredictable But this has been the way of the Kingdom Jesus didn t download all the answers to his disciples They were still uncertain when they saw him disappear into heaven Even after the Holy Spirit descended upon the church they needed to work out the consequences of growth Acts 6 and conflict Acts 15 No downloads But lots of love prayer submission and resistance May God help us on this journey in the USA and around the world in our global faith family Similar Posts The Immutable Law of Love 27 Jul 2013 To be immutable is to be unchangeable Gravity is immutable It works every time Thus US MB Study Conference Day 1 24 Jan 2013 A short daily blog from the US Mennonite Brethren Study Conference summaries of one Culture Shift in Mexico and Brazil 21 Feb 2014 Under a canopy in the warm sun the delegates of ICPM the Mexico Mennonite Brethren Where Is Your Home 12 Jan 2013 In Europe last fall I observed a development among our churches that got me asking The Precious Work of Jesus Christ 15 Feb 2013 I will be in India next week paying a fraternal visit on behalf of ICOMB Loving Constraint 4 Oct

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2013/01/26/us-mb-study-conference-day-3-final/ (2016-02-16)
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  • US MB Study Conference Day 2 – ICOMB
    the hermeneutical question consciously Personal self protection is a different category than police and military protection defense We need to pry those apart and discuss them separately I don t think we can validate violent personal self defense with Biblical examples of national defense or aggression such as Israel s conquering of Canaan Personal attacks or home invasions are actually rare despite how often the media report on them On this I think we can learn from the frequent home invasions Mennonites faced 100 years ago in Russia and how they handled it A Culture of Peace by Alan and Eleanor Kreider missionaries in England who influenced Stuart Murray and Paulus Widjaja Mennonite leader in Indonesia taught a key principle What are we cultivating in our minds and hearts When Dirk Willems escaping from prison in 1531 saw his jailer crash through the river ice he had a split second to decide to keep running or to turn and help the man He turned was recaptured for his trouble and executed What conviction had he cultivated that enabled him to make that choice That kind of cultivation culture makes all the difference This must be applied individually and corporately We are a Peace Church We should not undo this conviction not only because the government currently protects our right to this position but because it s a witness to other Christians and makes a home for them We do act peaceably We have had a strong discussion but we re still speaking to one another May God give us continued courage Similar Posts What is God Doing 15 Dec 2012 This week s blog is going to be an article in the Paraguay German Conference periodical And Shalom in the New Year 21 Dec 2012 One week ago 26 people

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2013/01/25/us-mb-study-conference-day-2/ (2016-02-16)
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  • US MB Study Conference Day 1 – ICOMB
    Roberts responder We are all citizens of a country It s about identity and commitment Our kingdom citizenship resides and stems from being in the church of Jesus Christ Within our citizenship come opportunities for devotion worship and obedience For Christians we constantly have to examine our hearts where our devotion lies There s a difference between obedience and submission We can submit to government for example but we don t have to obey every time But when we challenge we don t necessarily have to do so defiantly Rather we can challenge the powers with the view for them to do better Laura added In the matter of allegiance there s no list We often hear God first then family then job etc and last me With God though there s no list There s just God He is utterly and exclusively supreme A favorite author of mine says Monotheism is a terrible idea but a wonderful discovery He means that if God as Supreme is just an idea it will always be contested by our many other allegiances God on the top of a list is just an idea When we truly encounter and discover God as the one and only well then we re getting somewhere in our discipleship Especially with the question of us versus society and state we really need to be anchored in God as one and only We need a deep conversion and a robust discipleship learning how to be Kingdom Citizens or we re always in trouble in fact society and or the state will always win Canadians and Americans have slightly different forms of government cultures and so on It doesn t matter Christians in both countries need to have this deep conversion In fact it s probably true of every

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2013/01/24/us-mb-study-conference-day-1/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Where Is Your Home? – ICOMB
    I d be happy to achieve consistency and unity on these two alone Broadly speaking Convictions would be defined by our Confession of Faith and our capacity to engage with it The Mennonite Brethren community hermeneutic allows us to continually refresh what we believe and our commitments to that set of beliefs Over time by testing if there s room for discussion room for change and a match of convictions between one another we may continue to feel comfortable or not Community is defined by the character of our fellowship the elements noted above that point to being comfortable We can feel comfortable in a church for a long time but discover that a number of issues rub the wrong way Over time by testing reactions to our struggles and whether there s love and relationship we may continue to feel comfortable or not What I saw in Europe was a conference having a discussion about convictions One with a good witness to their community did not feel at home with another church with an equally effective witness They were disagreeing on both methodological and theological issues From what I heard the dissenting church felt more at home with some other evangelical churches and decreasingly with the Mennonite Brethren conference They fellowshipped and developed community with other groups of like mind Their home sense was moving away from their denominational family It didn t surprise people that there was an ultimatum though such things are always a shock when they come One theory emerged about why this happened The church had been planted generically some 30 years ago MB identity was downplayed People were evangelized to follow Jesus not a denomination The church was taught to view itself firstly evangelical and free much less part of the MB family This meant the classic conviction set of the Mennonite Brethren was not conveyed During that era the MB Confession was viewed more as a set of distinctives what separated us from everyone else Perhaps it was understandable that denominational identity was hidden The fruit however is that this church didn t know who they were So it was easy to seek fellowship with others not that it s wrong But eventually the home sense came through affiliation with others with loss of the sense that Mennonite Brethren character and convictions were home Thus they felt free to issue the ultimatum To the credit of that conference and the church in question there had been enough social and ministry affiliation to sustain years together Eventually however the DNA essential nature of the dissenting church shows Community and Convictions are isomorphic They are so inter twined it s hard to separate them That also makes them very powerful drivers of belonging or disaffection I believe this issue is very important and complex I hope to blog more on this subject Similar Posts ICOMB Statement to USMB Study Conference 2013 4 Feb 2013 It s exciting to see our movement making a contribution to

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2013/01/12/where-is-your-home/ (2016-02-16)
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  • …And Shalom in the New Year – ICOMB
    feel the loss in Newtown more personally when I think about Ana It takes knowing someone even just a little bit It s difficult to feel what people go through in other parts of the world It s easy to distance ourselves from injustice poverty hurt war Nevertheless I think we can try to connect and we should I can t hear about Newtown without thinking of Iraqis because a man in my church came from Baghdad His father was the pastor of a large Presbyterian church in Baghdad We feared specifically for him I can t hear about Newtown without thinking of Yvette in Bukavu Eastern Congo Three weeks ago I sat at my friend Pakisa s kitchen table listening to him talk to Yvette asking her for a local update Our 9 member churches were threatened I have cultivated a response to the Newtowns of our age It s an almost automatic consideration of others in our world who may be just as unjustly treated or worse as these situations on our shores I think it makes me a more sensitive global Christian and a motivated one to pray and to work where I can I d like to invite us who live in the global North to join me in cultivating this kind of awareness and care Every time we say a prayer for the people of Newtown why not also say a prayer for someone else in another part of the world at the same time It might put us in touch with tough issues It also might motivate us to outcry and action It might do a world of good Merry Christmas and let s invest in Shalom in the New Year Similar Posts Peace Lessons from the Global MB Family 7 Jun 2013 President

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2012/12/21/and-shalom-in-the-new-year/ (2016-02-16)
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  • What is God Doing? – ICOMB
    my heart not as an organization but as a family of people seeking to follow Jesus all over the world In 2009 my own life took an unexpected turn I engaged in a life coaching process called Apex which helped me focus my central contribution as a mature minister I wrote a summary I like to create safe places for the community of faith to listen to each other and God s word to discern God s direction for them I use a combination of listening reflection and prayer writing and speaking and finally building consensus At first I worked to implement this in my role at the Canadian Conference But late in the year God told me I m calling you out of this position You are free to go I officially resigned at our Executive Board meeting in January 2010 indicating I would stay through the year to fulfill responsibilities while the search committee began their work I didn t have any future work lined up At the 2010 ICOMB Summit we expected to commission Victor Wall s replacement However things did not work out as planned Since I was free they asked if I would serve temporarily I began that service in January 2011 on a half time basis After a more complete global search they asked me to serve full time in June 2012 As I look back I see how God set up my life for this role Moreover the clarity I found in Apex helped me identify ICOMB as the kind of environment in which God could use me effectively My Philosophy and vision for ICOMB connect closely to my Apex statement Create a safe place We shine as lights in darkness Some of our family suffers persecution because of faith in Jesus Christ This summer one of our Mennonite Brethren pastors was ambushed and martyred on his way to a ministry assignment Others suffer poverty and lack food shelter safety or other essentials Consider the danger our family experiences in Eastern Congo Others battle with excess and the cares of the world which threaten to choke the growth of faith I hope ICOMB grows to be more and more a safe place to share our struggles and help each other overcome to victory Discern together The Anabaptist approach combined several aspects of Revelation The Word of God plus the Way of Jesus considered by People of the Word indwelt by the Holy Spirit are the ways that God speaks and directs I hope ICOMB continues to be a place where we speak spiritually to one another to set the stage for discerning God s direction for our movement Use of our gifts I believe that everyone has something to contribute Each one s gifts help us toward our destination Small gifts are important and big gifts must be used with humility ICOMB s mission statement is to facilitate relationships and ministries among its members the national conferences Diversity presents many challenges but it

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2012/12/15/what-is-god-doing/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Harvest Liminal Fecundity – ICOMB
    churches reaction to the Anabaptists the general perspective during the dissolution of the NA Conference In contrast to the instinct to view border zones negatively can we cultivate a positive approach Why not try to harvest the fecundity that lies there In principle if there s greater richness in ecclesial ecotones can we find a fuller experience of the Kingdom of God Consider what happened when the International Committee met to forge the ICOMB Confession of Faith Western members gravitated toward identifying all the points or articles we wanted Eastern Southern minds gravitated toward creating a narrative that would reveal our faith convictions The end result was a blend of both in 2 sections the first being a narrative that answered the question How does God work in the world the second being a set of points answering How do Mennonite Brethren respond to God s purpose It s a richer confession as a result What are some illustrations of church ecotones At the local church New generations of children asking questions and challenging assumptions Changes in worship liturgy or styles New visitors and members from another country or spiritual background At the conference or in ICOMB Theological challenges the recent atonement debate in Canada and the upcoming confessional review of Church and State Love and Non Resistance articles in USA A dramatic increase in membership or those asking for membership Modern to post modern or world view shifts This is just a tiny sampling In each item lies potential shift Every encounter means liminality something probably will change If we aren t self aware we ll fall into the typical traps denying the challenge s reality fighting it to the death assuming the devil is attacking capitulating to the new in an effort to be relevant grieving the loss of hegemony to name a few We also cannot pine for the days when we didn t have to grapple with all these new challenges Global communication and mobility have thrust many changes upon the church We always seem to be on new thresholds when back in the day we could rest a bit after crossing one Now it s just one doorway after another with very few rooms to identify and rest in it seems Again we could fight or grieve or capitulate Or we could start the combines and harvest the potential that s in the encounter It could be richer solutions the Genius of AND as James Collins put it gifts might be discovered within the conflict we might learn to manage and resolve conflict thus preparing for bigger thresholds we might strengthen convictions and our witness to others There s gold in them thar thresholds Make liminality your friend Look in it for fecundity Harvest it for the good of the Kingdom in your sphere of ministry and life Confession of Faith Similar Posts Community Life on Life Discipleship 15 Mar 2013 While I was in Thailand Bob Davis told me a really interesting story about

    Original URL path: http://www.icomb.org/2012/12/07/harvest-liminal-fecundity/ (2016-02-16)
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