God’s mission of love for the world and the unity of the church are interwoven. As Jesus prayed for his disciples, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them” (John 17:23). But what is the nature of our unity? How does God’s love weave us together and affirm the diversity of the church at the same time?
My project will explore the ligaments that hold together the recently formed denomination, Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA). The merger of the two main U.S. Mennonite ecclesial bodies in 2002 bears witness to the hope of church unity, even while other ecclesial bodies in this country split apart. But the same conflicts that led to division in other denominations threaten to cut through the sinews of God’s love that created MCUSA a few years ago.
I will visit Mennonite churches across the United States and discern the similar ways that God is present. As I experience glimpses of Christ’s unity across the denomination, I will share them with the rest of the church. Hopefully, my descriptions of church life will witness to the unity of MCUSA and help congregations see the ligaments of God’s Spirit that hold us together.
|"Faith that Lives in Each of Us"||2011||Website Article||
Isaac S. Villegas