The Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board welcomed Mosaic Mennonite Conference Moderator Angela Moyer Walter and Assistant Moderator Roy Williams to its online Zoom meeting on Jan. 28, 2023.
Moyer Walter and Williams officially presented an open letter to the Executive Board, published by Mosaic in December 2022. They shared a timeline of Mosaic’s history and discussed the challenges they are facing in their two-year strategic plan to determine affiliation following the 2022 Special Session of the Delegate Assembly.
“There are many [in Mosaic] that are still very sad and hurt and frustrated for a variety of complicated reasons,” said Moyer Walter. “There are just multiple layers of concern, but God gives us hope. So, we trust in that, and we hope to have a witness of reconciliation together,” she added.
MC USA Moderator Linda Dibble said, “We’ve listened, and we read your words. We understand your concerns. We want Mosaic to remain a part of us, and we will walk beside you.”
Following the meeting, the MC USA Executive Board responded more fully in an open letter to the Mosaic board:
January 30, 2023
Dear members of the Mosaic Mennonite Conference Board:
Thank you for your open, honest and vulnerable communication.
We were grateful for your December 2022 letter and appreciated the loving care that you poured into it to express your gratitude, humility, concerns and pain.
Thank you also for agreeing to meet with us face-to-face during our virtual Executive Board meeting on Jan. 28, 2023. We appreciated the presentation by Mosaic Moderator Angela Moyer Walter and Assistant Moderator Roy Williams, as well as the opportunity for two-way dialog. We now have a better understanding of the complexities of Mosaic Mennonite Conference, the challenges you face and your hopes for the future.
It is not always easy to listen well, especially in difficult conversations, but we hope that we did and that you felt heard. We promise to continue listening, and we trust that our responses and actions will demonstrate this.
We acknowledge that we are imperfect, as are our systems and structures. Let us continue to communicate, to strengthen relationships and to work together to fix those things that need repair.
Thank you for the good work that you are doing in Mosaic Mennonite Conference. We affirm and ask for God’s blessing on your two-year discernment process. We commit to walk alongside Mosaic Mennonite Conference, a commitment that we share with all of our area conferences.
There is space for all in Mennonite Church USA to experience the love and oneness in Jesus.
It is our desire that every congregation feel wanted, accepted and equipped to freely live out their Anabaptist faith in their own context within the broad diversity of our denomination. It is a freedom protected by our bylaws and our longstanding tradition of congregational polity.
Let us fervently pray and journey together into a bright future. As Angela and Roy suggested during our meeting, let us be creative and dream of a way to flourish together. May we witness to God’s peace by continuing to love each other just as Christ loves us.
“…and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” -Acts 1:8b
May God be with you,
Linda Dibble, Moderator
Jon Carlson, Moderator-elect
Editor’s note: A full report on the recent Executive Board meeting will be published during the coming week.
By MC USA Executive Board Staff