Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), urged the church to “Be Transformed,” revealing the denominational theme for the next biennium in his closing message at MennoCon21 on July 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The power of the church lies in transformation,” said Guyton. “While transformation will look different in different communities and with different people the church serves, the mission of the church is always to prepare people for transformation to happen.”
As with the previous “Bring the Peace” theme, “Be Transformed” echoes the Renewed Commitments for MC USA, which call for the church to “Follow Jesus, witness to God’s peace and experience transformation.”
“Our power is to be that symbol of hope, restoration and renewal in the community,” he said.
Guyton acknowledged that the denomination has had its challenges since coming together in 2001 and encouraged the church to focus on its common core values and how it can grow and benefit communities. He reminded the combined in-person and online attendees at MC USA’s hybrid convention that God is in control and surrounds and protects us with loving kindness.
Guyton encouraged the assembly and those who love the church to set an example.
“Let us be advocates and allies for the marginalized. Let us demonstrate the love of Christ in word and deed to those that don’t feel like this church is home,” he said “Let us call them to the foot of the cross because God is enough, and nothing else will do. It is time for MC USA to be transformed.”
Guyton closed his message with a guitar and vocal interpretation of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Free Bird,” substituting the word “dove” for “bird,” in reference to the MC USA logo:
“’Cause I’m as free as a dove now,
But this dove it must change,
Oh, oh, oh, oh
And this dove, it can change
Yes, this dove, it has to change
Lord knows, We can change.”
“Be Transformed” will be the theme for MennoCon23, the next church-wide convention in Kansas City, Missouri, July 4-8, 2023.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 58 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. mennoniteUSA.org