At their annual assembly this summer, the Mennonite Church USA passed two resolutions on the issue of accepting unrepentant homosexuals as members. The “Resolution for Repentance and Transformation,” repenting of harm done to LGBTQ people and calling for broader inclusion, passed by a majority of 55.7% (“MC USA Delegate Assembly widens the circle for LGBTQ people,” Mennoniteusa.org, June 1, 2022). An “organization resolution” updated the membership guidelines so that pastors are no longer prohibited from performing “same-sex covenant ceremonies.” That one passed by a majority of 82.8%. The Mennonites trace their roots to the Anabaptists of Europe and to Menno Simons (1492-1561) in particular. Beginning in the 17th century, large numbers of Mennonites settled in America and Canada. They are divided into about 40 groups, some more conservative than others. The Mennonite Church USA is the largest group with about 530 congregations and is the most “liberal,” meaning apostate, in that they follow man’s thinking rather than God’s Word. (In May 2022, the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, with its 180 congregations, separated from the Mennonite Church USA for its changing views on homosexuality.) There are several conservative, separatist Mennonite groups, including Biblical Mennonite Alliance, Conservative Mennonite Conference, Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church, and Ohio Wisler Mennonite. There are also small numbers of “old order” Mennonites that are similar to Amish, traveling in horse and buggy and practicing plain dressing and shunning.
(Friday Church News Notes, September 2, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)