Recently the MC-USA let it be known that it was not going to judge conferences or congregations on the matter of credentialing pastors. That matter was to be left to the discernment of conferences and congregations. While some will no doubt understand this to be a liberal decision, it seems more of a conservative trend to this Old Fool. Even the old Mennonite Church of the past preferred not to rule on matters of faith and practice.
Now the most recent tmail from TheMennonite reports that Western District Conference has chosen to retain the ministerial credentials of a minister who has performed same sex marriages with the approval of her congregation. The conference will add a note to her MLI that she has performed such marriages which is at variance to conference policy. This is helpful information. Some congregations will want the services of that kind of minister. It can be a note of honor.
It is the Old Fool’s memory that the denomination is at its best when one congregation’s decisions are respected by other congregations. A Congregation is closer to its people and the issues confronting it when decisions must be made. The Old Fool is cheered because it seems that the denomination is moving toward health. It will be wonderful if the dissenters ultimately join in the joy of unity and wholeness.