What of the process?
This is a movement of love.
Our process may not be pure. It may not fit policy and usual procedures. But is it helpful? Is it right? Is it gospel?
Many might ask questions concerning the process behind these 7 Calls and how Mennonite Church Canada has been engaged.
“Have you talked directly to leadership and joint council? And if so, how much dialogue did you have?"”
“Shouldn't big decisions like this get made at delegate assemblies and through formal channels?"
“Isn't this action coercive, especially since you've paired the 7 Calls with a hunger strike?”
For years, there have been conversations about climate justice in and around Mennonite Church Canada. We have delegate body resolutions dating back three decades ("Stewardship of the Earth," 1989), and more ("Christian Stewardship of Energy Resources," 1977).
We are now in an emergency situation, facing an existential threat to humanity. Our common home is literally on fire. We cannot afford years of further conversation with little, and sometimes, no action. We need ambitious, commensurate-to-the-crisis response, facilitated by courageous leadership. And we need it as soon as possible.
Yes, we acknowledge that this way of calling Mennonite Church Canada to action does not fit with our usual processes of discernment and deliberation. And we don't take that lightly. It is difficult, for everyone, when some seek to create a "constructive, nonviolent tension which [they believe] is necessary for growth" (Martin Luther King, Jr). And yet the gospels, those life-giving and subversive texts at the center of our faith, invite us to open our hearts to such practices as potential moves of the Spirit. For there we see Jesus, lovingly disrupting the routines of the church (synagogue and temple) with dramatic calls to life and action through both audacious word (“the Spirit of the Lord is upon me”—Luke 4) and strong deed (“he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling”—Mark 11). Perhaps this is a time for holy disruption and exceptional acts of grace?
We don’t presume that this call to action is pure. But we do believe it is rooted in deep love. Love for creation, and for our church too.