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  • #WeAreMenno: Spiritual ‘seed bombs’ sprout new life at West Zion Mennonite – Mennonite Church USA
    congregation moved from a two pronged leadership structure with trustees and deacons to five teams that each focus on a different part of their life together The new Mission Team is tasked with helping the congregation find new ways to connect to the local community and the world to bring about the kingdom of God We never would have made the strides we have in our missional outreach without a Mission Team that meets monthly to talk about nothing but mission and has a budget to sponsor projects and ideas explains Roth In the old model conversation about outreach to our neighbors would have had to compete with checklists of how many light bulbs need to be changed Meetings can only go so long There was also that mysterious combination of the right people at the right time that s really the work of God he adds In early March the Mission Team led a workshop entitled The art of the seed bomb sharing our faith with the goals of fostering a clear sense of the meaning of the gospel encouraging people to seek and recognize opportunities to share their faith giving simple strategies for sharing faith and cultivating a culture of evangelism Cultivating a culture of evangelism has required some theological reorientation for West Zion says Roth the word evangelism itself has required some redeeming and reclaiming Roth s sermons have focused on hospitality and welcome He sees the seed bomb as a subversive metaphor that turns the military image on its head bringing new life instead of death Brad and Lici Roth and family Brad serves as pastor of West Zion Mennonite Church Moundridge Kan Photo provided I wonder how many of our churches don t actually want growth which is messy risky and forward looking but restoration which imagines a golden age in the past when the nursery was full reflects Roth Growth comes from Christ Restoration looks like embalming Risking growth West Zion is the church in Moundridge that has historically welcomed folks from other Mennonite congregations who didn t fit for example people with military background and divorced remarried folks explains Roth We talk about ourselves as the welcoming church However many of us are overly comfortable in our relationships with friends and family To address this dynamic the Mission Team has introduced practical ways for individuals to share their faith with those they are close to For Easter Sunday they created West Zion postcards to hand out as invitations to worship I continually challenge us to expand our social circles Roth explains Honestly this is one of those do or die heart changes that s going to have to take place Churches our size grow by adoption we can t just hang out with our best friends I intentionally shoulder tap people in our church and ask them to adopt new attenders As part of their local outreach efforts for the past four years West Zion has partnered with other local congregations to host

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/wearemenno-spiritual-seed-bombs-sprout-new-life-west-zion-mennonite/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Mennonite Church USA responds to appeal from Palestinian Christians – Mennonite Church USA
    in the Palestinians letter and their persistence in clinging to hope and love We are humbled and grateful for the way even in your situation you trust in the power of love as modeled and inspired by Jesus Christ Stutzman writes We are deeply moved by your testimony that even in the midst of cruel circumstances you bear the strength of love rather than that of revenge We are inspired by your continued vision that the only way forward is for Palestinians and Israelis to see the face of God in each other In his letter to Mennonite Church USA members Stutzman notes that across the church people s perspectives and commitments related to Israel and Palestine vary greatly For more than 65 years Mennonites have lived studied and ministered in Israel and Palestine forming deep friendships and bonds of faith with brothers and sisters there Persons representing a range of opinions about the conflict and Mennonite responses to it have been in conversation with Mennonite Church USA leaders and were consulted as the Kairos response was drafted This is a region with much hurt and pain he writes In part what is needed is careful listening to the pain and trauma experienced by the Jewish people These horrors were often committed by those who claimed Christian faith Ongoing reflection and repentance is called for At the same time Palestinians suffer deep and profound loss and pain Their cries too have reached us In May 2007 a 10 person delegation representing various Mennonite agencies and organizations visited Palestine Israel and engaged in dialogue with Christians Jews and Muslims there Upon returning the delegation sent an open letter to Mennonite Church USA urging the church to deepen its work for peace in the region In response an Israel Palestine task force was formed which called for Mennonite Church USA to respond to the Palestinian Christians letter Stutzman encourages Mennonites to read the Kairos Palestine document and Mennonite Church USA s response and to take steps such as learning about the situation in Israel Palestine including visiting the region and meeting with Christian brothers and sisters there re examining what the Bible says about the land of Israel and engaging in conversation with each other about the theology of Christian Zionism and its impact on Christian brothers and sisters in the region considering how their financial lives are enmeshed in the policies of occupation especially through tax dollars and investments deepening their commitment to the way of the cross which binds together love for every person and resistance to injustice and sin The suffering in this region has repercussions for the whole world says André Gingerich Stoner director of holistic witness and interchurch relations for Mennonite Church USA We want to hear deeply the cry of our brothers and sisters and to join them in being a sign of the healing and hope that Jesus brings Links 2009 Kairos Palestine document www kairospalestine ps Click on responses at left to read Mennonite

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/mennonite-church-usa-responds-to-appeal-from-palestinian-christians/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Come and See – Mennonite Church USA
    See Tag Come and See Come and See Mennonite leaders visit Israel Palestine Posted on March 24 2014 Series of learning tours planned in response to Kairos Palestine appeal By Jenn Carreto Mennonite Church USA Fifteen board members and staff representing various Mennonite agencies and organizations traveled to Israel Palestine Feb 24 March 4 to take part in a Come and See learning tour The tour marked the beginning of a denominational initiative to send 100 Posted in Holistic Witness Interchurch Relations News Tagged Come and See Israel Palestine learning tour Kairos Palestine Mennonite Central Committee Mennonite Church USA 4 Comments Email Subscription Subscribe by Email Recent News Executive Board holds second meeting of biennium Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 explores youth ministry through Anabaptist lens Executive director reappointed for third three year term Sent 2016 A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus centered communities Hope gathering to offer specific plan for Racial Ethnic change Convention Planning team welcomes new staff members Equipping the Saints Hope for the Future V to address HR practices procedures In support of our Muslim neighbors WeAreMenno Latino a Mennonites transforming the church The Syrian refugee crisis What can we do Subscribe to News via

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/tag/come-and-see/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Israel/Palestine learning tour – Mennonite Church USA
    tour Tag Israel Palestine learning tour Come and See Mennonite leaders visit Israel Palestine Posted on March 24 2014 Series of learning tours planned in response to Kairos Palestine appeal By Jenn Carreto Mennonite Church USA Fifteen board members and staff representing various Mennonite agencies and organizations traveled to Israel Palestine Feb 24 March 4 to take part in a Come and See learning tour The tour marked the beginning of a denominational initiative to send 100 Posted in Holistic Witness Interchurch Relations News Tagged Come and See Israel Palestine learning tour Kairos Palestine Mennonite Central Committee Mennonite Church USA 4 Comments Email Subscription Subscribe by Email Recent News Executive Board holds second meeting of biennium Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 explores youth ministry through Anabaptist lens Executive director reappointed for third three year term Sent 2016 A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus centered communities Hope gathering to offer specific plan for Racial Ethnic change Convention Planning team welcomes new staff members Equipping the Saints Hope for the Future V to address HR practices procedures In support of our Muslim neighbors WeAreMenno Latino a Mennonites transforming the church The Syrian refugee crisis What can we do Subscribe to News

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/tag/israelpalestine-learning-tour/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Kairos Palestine – Mennonite Church USA
    t expecting to be surprised by anything particular I keep abreast of the situation through mainstream media and organizations working there including Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Peacemaker Teams Posted in Holistic Witness Menno Snapshots Tagged Come and See Learning Tour Israel Palestine Jason Boone Kairos Palestine Come and See Mennonite leaders visit Israel Palestine Posted on March 24 2014 Series of learning tours planned in response to Kairos Palestine appeal By Jenn Carreto Mennonite Church USA Fifteen board members and staff representing various Mennonite agencies and organizations traveled to Israel Palestine Feb 24 March 4 to take part in a Come and See learning tour The tour marked the beginning of a denominational initiative to send 100 Posted in Holistic Witness Interchurch Relations News Tagged Come and See Israel Palestine learning tour Kairos Palestine Mennonite Central Committee Mennonite Church USA 4 Comments Email Subscription Subscribe by Email Recent News Executive Board holds second meeting of biennium Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 explores youth ministry through Anabaptist lens Executive director reappointed for third three year term Sent 2016 A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus centered communities Hope gathering to offer specific plan for Racial Ethnic change Convention Planning team

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/tag/kairos-palestine/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Constituency Leaders Council meets, offers direction to the Executive Board – Mennonite Church USA
    and things they might have done differently throughout the process The CLC spent Friday responding to the following questions posed by the task force Having heard from Mountain States Mennonite Conference MSMC and the report of the task force what feedback does the CLC want to communicate to the leadership of the MSMC What is God saying to us and to Mennonite Church USA as we listen and reflect Are there better ways than our current organization and written statements to cultivate relationships between congregations area conferences and the denomination How will we tend our common life as Mennonite Church USA especially in light of differing beliefs and practices What direction can the CLC offer the Executive Board as they tend to the relationships among congregations area conferences and the denomination at this time in our history What direction can the CLC offer the Executive Board as they respond to MSMC s recent credentialing process CLC members discussed each of these questions in table groups and then reported back to the larger group CLC members acknowledged that MSMC s actions place the area conference at variance with the relational covenant the conference made when it joined Mennonite Church USA in 2005 Table groups offered suggestions for how the EB could respond to the variance reflected by the MSMC decision as it impacts relationships with the rest of the church The task force will compile and synthesize the table groups responses and report back to the CLC by May 1 The task force will then draft a recommendation for consideration by the EB at its June 26 28 meeting in Chicago CLC members urged the task force and the EB to tend to the relationship with MSMC In addition they encouraged the EB and task force to address the broader conversations and disagreements across the church regarding same gender relationships The CLC also expressed a strong hope for finding a way to be together suggesting that the EB explore new models for relationship among area conferences and congregations The Purposeful Plan a 10 year strategic plan for Mennonite Church USA was held up as a guide for the work that churchwide agencies area conferences and congregations can collaborate on in spite of disagreement in other areas The CLC also called for a confessional report recounting the process and interactions between the EB and MSMC Task force members will engage this work as they compile and interpret the responses from the table groups The importance of face to face conversation was named repeatedly Several area conference leaders said they are looking for ways to promote healthier and more frequent inter conference conversation and relationship building in the future In their concluding reflections task force members said We were told by countless people that they were praying for the CLC and our Church during these days God s presence among us has been palpable and we have sensed the moving of God s Spirit We are not leaving the same As we leave

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/constituency-leaders-council-meets-offers-direction-to-the-executive-board/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Theology in the kitchen: Mixing up a batch – Mennonite Church USA
    theology to be produced in ivory towers with no free range areas What is it that these tower theologians feed upon in order to produce their recipes There is a growing group of twenty first century theologians that increasingly prefer to cook with locally grown items using less meat for flavor and more herbs and spices from around the world Some even pledge to cook only alongside creatures not consume them These theologians find that creating their recipes from local ingredients grown in their own neighborhoods and local farms give the theological dishes an intense flavor that is not possible when using typical ingredients off the grocery store shelf What are we to make of these theologians who refuse to conform to the recipe books who create their own recipes adjusting as they go tinkering with flavors and textures depending on what is in season dependent upon what they find on their pantry shelf What are we to make of these theologians creating at home rather than with industrial ovens and over sized garbage disposals What is to be said of theologians who invite anyone into their kitchens to help stir the pot even those not adequately trained in reading recipes or making broth How can we take these kitchen table theologians seriously if they do not record their knowledge in a cookbook If they do not codify and systematize their recipes for moral action and correct interpretation How can we be expected to respect their work if they do not perfect the flavors so they intensify with age and preservation What good is a recipe if it is not reproducible and predictable in all climates altitudes and eras The kitchen table theologian would answer that climate altitude and context have everything to do with the recipe One expects to

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/theology-in-the-kitchen-mixing-up-a-batch-3/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Israel – Mennonite Church USA
    MENU Español Give Calendar Directory Publications Resources Who We Are What We Do What We Believe Find a Church Contact MENU Archive Home Israel Tag Israel Israel Palestine Learning Tour Travelogue Posted on February 26 2014 A delegation of 15 board members and staff of Mennonite Church USA agencies and organizations arrived in Bethlehem Monday February 24 2014 for the first leg of an eight day learning tour in Israel Palestine Participants include the following board members and staff of Mennonite Church USA agencies and organizations Joy Sutter Isaac Villegas André Gingerich Stoner Posted in Holistic Witness Menno Snapshots Tagged Israel Palestine 7 Comments Email Subscription Subscribe by Email Recent Snapshots Love is a Verb Resources for pastors conferences and congregations Hope for the Future Questions and concerns determination and confidence Discovering the root of my fear Hope for the Future What does inaction reveal about us Hope for the Future Angst and expectation together Orlando then and now Commemorating the Reformation Positive steps for creating a culture of giving in your church Stop Look And Listen Archives February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/tag/israel/ (2016-02-16)
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