RIM presenters explore identity, theology and mission
Compiled by Karla Braun
Renewing Identity and Mission offered attendees the opportunity to hear 30 presenters speak on facets of MB history, theology and practice. RIM workshop presenters faced the same challenge as the plenary speakers—addressing an audience that ran the gamut from professional church historians and theologians to interested church members with limited knowledge of MB history and theology. The papers were academic and favored the former group, but the lively discussions following each presentation made room for all.
Each of the two presenter in each 90 minute session was allotted about 25 minutes after introductions; half an hour was given to questions from the floor. Three sessions in each timeslot were organized loosely around themes: MB identity, MB theology and MB mission. Some of the workshop pairings were only tangentially related to each other, so facilitators either dealt with the papers separately or moderated question and answer periods that ping-ponged from one topic to the other.
Papers presented at Renewing Identity and Mission seminars will be collected and edited and will be published by Kindred Productions. A list of papers given and their authors follows:
Track 1: Identity
“Mennonite Brethren: Anabaptist or Pietist?”—Abraham Friesen, Reformation history professor emeritus, University of California-Santa Barbara
“Four Early Mennonite Brethren Church Leaders”—Harold Jantz, former editor, MB Herald; author of Leaders Who Shaped Us
“Evangelical-Anabaptist? The Perils and Potential of a Dual Identity”—Bruce Guenther, associate professor of church history and Mennonite studies, MBBS-ACTS
“Marking the Boundaries: Mennonite Brethren, Theology, and Deviance”—Gay Lynn Voth, former professor of theology, CBC
“Telling our story”—Valerie Rempel, professor of history and theology, MBBS
“Christian Philosophy and Mennonite Brethren theology”—Myron Penner, associate professor of philosophy, Trinity Western Univeristy, Langley, B.C.
“Mennonite Brethrens in Canada: Findings from the Canadian Evangelical Churches Study, 2009”—Sam Reimer, professor of sociology, Atlantic Baptist University
“The Word Proclaimed: A Bulletin Survey of U.S. Mennonite Brethren Preaching”—Lynn Jost, MBBS-Fresno
“Can the Center Hold? Conversion in Mennonite Brethren Spirituality” —Andrew Dyck, pastor, Highland Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C.
“The Sound of Faith: How Hymns We Sing Reflect and Shape Our Mennonite Brethren identity”—Larry Warkentin, professor emeritus, Fresno Pacific University
Track 2: Theology
“Reading and Interpreting the Bible”—Tim Geddert, academic dean, professor of New Testament, MBBS-Fresno
“Confessing our Faith: The Significance of the Confession of Faith in the Life of the Church”—Doug Heidebrecht, director, Center for MB Studies-Winnipeg
“Passing on peace? Canadian Mennonite Brethren and Peacemaking”—J Janzen, pastor at Highland Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C.; interim editor, MB Herald
“Radical Ecclesiology: Reflections from a Colombian Mennonite Brethren Perspective”—Cesar Garcia, pastor, professor, and former president of the Mennonite Brethren churches of Colombia
“Discernment in the local church”—Brad Sumner, pastor, Jericho Ridge Community Church & Keith Reed, associate pastor, Jericho Ridge Community Church
“Family systems and the church”—Dan Unrau, pastor, Fraserview MB Church,
“Question & Answer”—USMB & CCMBC Board of Faith and Life members
“The Global Mennonite Brethren Mission Movement: Some Reflections and Projections”—Ray Harms Wiebe, global program team leader, MBMS International
“Mennonite Brethren at 150 and MCC at 90: Past, Present, and Future”—Donald Peters, executive director, Mennonite Central Committee Canada
Track 3: Mission
“The Mennonite Brethren Church as Global Community: Unity and Diversity”—Abe Dueck, interim secretary, Historical Commission
“Modern Mission Movements – Learnings, Applications and Areas of Need”—Randy Friesen, executive director, MBMS International
“The Mennonite Brethren Gospel in Quebec”—Richard Lougheed, librarian, ETEM, Montreal; chair of elders, Mennonite Fellowship of Montreal
“Mennonite Brethren Identity in a Post-colonial, Post-Catholic, and Secular Society”—Eric Wingender, professor and vice president, ETEM, Montreal
“A Faith I can Call My Own: Discipleship and Identity Formation Among Emerging Adults”—Gil Dueck, professor, Bethany College
“Pioneers Once Again: How One Mennonite Brethren Community is Re-engaging with Urban University Students”—Rebecca Stanley, church planter, Urban Journey & chaplain, University of British Columbia
“Sink or Swim? Anabaptist Responds to the Call for ‘Deep Church’”—Brian Cooper, pastor, Northside Community Church, Mission, B.C.
“The Emerging Generation: Partners with us in Identity”—Jules Glanzer, president, Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan.
“An Intercultural Approach to Ministry in Multicultural Contexts”—Ken Peters, pastor, Saanich Community Church, Victoria, BC
“What’s Wrong with This Space Shuttle”—Terry Wiseman, director of board of church extension, Ontario MB Conference
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