BFL given mandate to continue discussion on love, peacemaking and reconciliation
By Connie Faber
Delegates voted 103 to 10 to approve the recommended revision to Article 13: Love, Peacemaking and Reconciliation of the Confession of Faith at the closing business session this afternoon of the 30th National Convention of the U.S. Mennonite Brethren Conference held July 25-26 at the Santa Clara (Calif.) Marriott. This is the first time the USMB Confession of Faith has been changed since 2000 when it became a national rather than binational North American statement.
Following the announcement of the outcome of the vote, delegates also approved a motion introduced from the floor that mandates the Board of Faith and Life to “foster communication within our congregations to encourage the study of, commitment to and growth in biblical love, peacemaking and reconciliation, guided by the Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith Article 13 and to report the response to this initiative at the 2016 convention.” The motion passed unanimously.
The vote concluded a convention process that began Saturday morning with the Board of Faith and Life (BFL) report and open mic question and answer time, a 45-minute workshop discussion Saturday afternoon and a second opportunity for comments on the convention floor just prior to the late afternoon vote.
“Being part of this process for the past two and one-half years been a privilege,” said Gary Wall, Pacific District Conference minister, addressing the delegates from the floor after the ballots were cast and before the vote was announced. “As you know, some people do some heavier lifting than others. Thank you to Ed Boschman, Larry Nikkel and Tim Geddert (pictured right leading floor discussion of Article 13) who led so well, listened carefully and traveled many miles.” The delegates affirmed Wall’s remarks with their applause.
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