In MC Canada, every congregation gets a visit
Leader completes tour of 225 churchesBy Dan Dyck Mennonite Church Canada
WINNIPEG, Man. — The general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada has visited every one of the denomination’s 225 congregations in less than a year.
Robert J. Suderman envisioned the “God’s People Now!” listening tour as a way of getting to know the wider church when he was appointed to the denomination’s top position in December.
Suderman was impressed by the churches’ unity in the midst of diversity. He noted that 43 congregations have neither English nor German as their preferred language of worship.
He was surprised by the depth of passion with which people expressed their appreciation for the visits.
“I am mystified to understand this deep welling up of emotions at times during this tour,” Suderman said.
Dave Bergen, executive secretary of MC Canada’s formation ministries, said the tour produced holy moments.
“We became deeply aware that in the honest sharing of story, need, struggle and celebration, the Spirit of God was present and alive, moving in the midst of God’s people,” Bergen said. “As part of one body of Christ, we were all the richer for it.”
The tour’s implications are far-reaching, Suderman said.
“We have been blessed with an uncensored snapshot of the life and spirit, the concerns and needs of our church from coast to coast,” he said.
“The task of distilling, discerning and responding to what we have heard is a task that is now before us. We look forward to engaging what we have heard.”
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