How can followers of Jesus learn to truly love their neighbor in an age of racialized violence, xenophobia, and supposedly “colorblind” systems that deny access to quality education, housing, or livable wages to millions of poor black and brown people? How might we change how we view oppressed people so that the Church can participate in God’s gift of deliverance? In this plenary, Drew Hart, a professor, author, activist, and former pastor, will encourage us to take account of our racialized society and how race has distorted our vision of others, so we can finally be liberated to truly love people beyond a racialized gaze. He will expand the church’s frameworks for understanding racism while providing Jesus-shaped ways of pursuing love that breaks the centuries-long cycle of the Church producing ‘strange fruit’ in our society.
Participants to the annual meeting are invited to choose one of the following five seminars to attend. Please indicate your choice on the registration form.
Changing the Way the Church Views Racism Seminar
In this seminar, Dr. Drew Hart will place police brutality, mass incarceration, anti-black stereotypes, poverty, and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. Moving us beyond our thin, limited and archaic definition of racism and towards a thicker comprehensive and contemporary understanding, Hart will encourage us as the church to begin the journey of challenging racism and oppression in our everyday lives. Particularly helpful is the manner in which Dr. Hart weaves antiracism concepts, Christian theology and ethics, and accessible personal stories together for the benefit of the church.
Preparing for Orlando 2017
Presenter: Terry Shue, Denominational Minister for Mennonite Church USA
Women, Dig In: Exploring Bible Study for the 21st Century
Presenter: Marlene Bogard, Executive Director of Mennonite Women USA
How might women connect around the scriptures? Does the Bible have a special role for women in difficult times? Let’s dig in to Live Your Call (2017) and Faith Travels (2016), recent Bible study guides from Mennonite Women USA.
Christian Formation for Children
Presenters: Carrie Mast and Louise Matthews
Resonate: Shaping a new worship and song collection for MC USA and Mennonite Church Canada
Presenter: Bradley Kauffman
The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee (MWSC) is listening to the Church across MC USA and Mennonite Church Canada. What are your hopes, dreams, and longings around the next collection? The MWSC is hard at work, shaping a collection to succeed Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992), Sing the Journey (2005) and Sing the Story (2007). Come, share your insights and hear about recent developments within this project.