At the core of this theme are two dynamic concepts, holiness and unity. The call to follow Jesus is to live as God’s holy people seeking to transform people and culture. It acknowledges our own redemption through the creative Word of God and invites us into a purpose for living.
The unity theme is precious because it depicts the tension of Gentile/Jew conflict being worked out: to the Gentile’s once you were not a people, but now you are God’s own people. The Gentile Christians are grafted into the people of God along with the Jewish Christian community and together become the “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.”
People-hood is not an end unto itself. The purpose for this people-hood is to “proclaim the mighty acts of God.”
As members of Virginia Mennonite Conference, we are a diverse group. We are “blue blood” Mennonites from various conferences with specific histories of polity, practice, and holiness. We are African-American. We come from many cultures. We are immigrant peoples: Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Salvadorean, Honduran, Guatemalan. We are young, mature, and not getting any younger. We are male and female, married and single, widow and widower. We have high school diplomas and higher education degrees; we are rural and urban.
In these various qualifiers, we have different understandings and hopes for holiness and unity among us. As we live together, not in uniformity of belief and practice, but in common respect for the faith journey of each other, our purpose remains to “proclaim the mighty acts of God.” Together we celebrate the redemptive power of God’s movement in our own life as well as the lives that we touch through our personal contact, various ministry involvements, and congregational life.
May our life together be a witness of God’s holy people transforming the world through spoken word, acts of compassion, and service to others.