Called to be God’s people of healing and hope~
El pueblo de Dios Ilamado a sanación y esperanza
First Mennonite Church
Adopted October, 1995
We give thanks to God for the abundant gifts we have received. We give thanks for the gift of faith and salvation, and for the opportunity to say thanks with our very lives. We give thanks for those who have gone before us, who have left us with a lasting legacy of faith and discipleship. We give thanks for our congregation. God has abundantly blessed us with a rich history, with deep roots, and with sisters and brothers gifted in countless ways. We give thanks for the great diversity which constantly reminds us of the reach of God’s love. We give thanks also for God’s call to us, for the privilege of working to build the kingdom with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
But we confess that we are often unappreciative of these many gifts, too often experiencing them not as gifts but as problems. We also confess that we are often prone to hoard the gifts we have been given, rather than to share from our bounty with others. We confess our need for renewed vision and zeal, for focus to our efforts, for joy in our walk of faith. We want to be open to God’s call and God’s empowering and renewing presence in our midst.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your week knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.” — Hebrews 12:12-15
We hear the Spirit calling us to be God’s people of healing and hope—
- to be strengthened at our core (Ephesians 3:16)
- to receive the stranger with generosity and hospitality (Matthew 25:31-43)
- to attract and invite people to a life of faith in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20)
- to engage in the task of reconciliation in the world (2 Corinthians 5:18)
so that God’s healing and hope may flow through us to the world.*
*With this theme and wording we tie into the vision statement accepted by the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church bodies at Wichita ’95.
To be strengthened at our core means that we will—
- commit ourselves anew to Jesus as Saviour and Lord, invite each other to personal spiritual growth, to a greater appreciation of each other’s faith, and to a joyous expression of our faith in witness and worship
- seek ways to create community where we can learn to be sisters and brothers to each other, mutually accountable as members of the body of Christ, building each other up in love and faithfulness
- engage in Bible study, prayer, and fellowship in order that the Spirit of God may enable us to transcend generational, familial, economic, and cultural barriers and mould us into a people of God’s healing and hope
To receive the stranger in joyful generosity and hospitality means that we will—
- seek to be a welcoming place of refuge, where Christ can be encountered, where sin can be forgiven, the broken can be healed, and the discouraged receive hope
- openly and genuinely welcome into our fellowship those who come to us from both the Kitchener-Waterloo community and from around the world
To be engaged in the task of reconciliation means that we will—
- reaffirm the Anabaptist/Mennonite mission emphasis on inviting persons to faith and life in Christ and, as essential to that witness, to work for peace and justice in our community and throughout the world
- resolve anew in our lifestyle choices not to be conformed to this world, but rather to be conformed to Christ, so that we can with integrity be witnesses to God’s healing and hope