Two more Manitoba churches leave MC Canada

Graysville Mennonite Church and Blumenort Mennonite Church, both in southern Manitoba, have voted to part ways with Mennonite Church Canada and their area church, MC Manitoba. The decisions, made in February and March 2017, respectively, were primarily a response to the resolution passed at the MC Canada assembly last summer related to same-sex matters. Cam Stockford, chair of the Graysville Mennonite church council, said some people in the congregation were troubled that the broader church was so wrapped up in this particular matter. Personally, Stockford said he was “disappointed at the amount of passion within this discussion” at the broader church level. “When people get red-faced, they stop listening,” he said. These are the fourth and fifth southern Manitoba churches to leave MC Canada since November 2014, when Plum Coulee Bergthaler Mennonite Church voted to depart. Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church and Grace Mennonite Church in Winkler followed suit. Ken Warkentin, MC Manitoba’s executive director, said these five departures account for nearly 15 percent of the area church’s membership. “It breaks my heart,” he said. —Will Braun

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"In the thirteenth century, the Franciscans and the Dominicans invariably took opposing positions in the great debates in the universities of Paris, Cologne, Bologna, and Oxford. Both opinions usually passed the tests of orthodoxy, although one was preferred. The Franciscans often ended up presenting the minority position. Like the United States’ Supreme Court, the Church could have both a majority and a minority opinion, and the minority position was not kicked out! It was just not taught in most seminaries." --Richard Rohr

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