Our Closing Reflection

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by Emerging Voices Initiative

Emerging Voices Initiative is writing its final post.

Almost two years ago, we became involved in Mennonite Church Canada as Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI). We gathered as people committed to the well-being of the church, seeking ways to engage more deeply in the Future Directions Task Force and transition process. We never would have guessed that our work would take us to the place we are today.

As Mennonite Church Canada delegates have affirmed a new church structure, we have decided to formally discontinue Emerging Voices Initiative. When we began, we focused on the Future Directions Task Force’s final report, asking questions about the changing structure, and providing a forum for others to do so. We tried to listen closely and respond faithfully.

With the new structure affirmed, our chosen task has reached a fitting end. Instead of continuing as a group, we want our story to encourage young people to be heard in their own church settings. We hope the church will create and maintain space for young voices without the container of Emerging Voices Initiative.

We always felt conversations about change and transition needed to begin by considering the church’s calling. In all the discussions we have been part of, we have tried to keep our vision for the church at the centre. We pray that as the church transitions, we remain faithful to how Christ is calling us to be, in both words and actions. We hope for energy, honesty and compassion as we experiment with a new structure.

We owe thanks to many, especially to Mennonite Church Canada itself. Staff have been supportive of our work and patient with our questions. Last fall, we received generous funding from MC Canada to make our cross-country workshop tour possible.

Everyone who supported us, in any way, became part of our project. Delegates, congregants, pastors, professors, and more have responded to us with curiosity and enthusiasm. To all who participated, whether by adding a leaf to our tree of hope and lament at Assembly 2016 in Saskatoon, sending us a blog post, or simply being present, thank you.

Though EVI has come to a close, we are not leaving the church. We are all still here. We want to wrestle with questions of faithfulness and feasibility. We are committed to the future of the church. As the church is changing, we affirm what we wrote at the beginning:

We acknowledge that the church ultimately belongs to God and is a sign of God’s Kingdom. God is always working within and beyond the institutional church. We recognize that the world’s redemption is in God’s hands, and our actions and structures should reflect our best attempts to participate in God’s work, not control it. (A Vision for the Church)

From all of us at Emerging Voices Initiative, we’re glad to be church with you.

A few favourite moments.

This is our final post–it’s hard to know what to write down here! Of course, your comments are welcome. Our website will remain active as an archive of our work. Our contact page will also stay up for some time. Send us your questions, comments and shout-outs.

Thanks for visiting, reading and being part of our journey!

Our Closing Reflection

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