A Revisiting of Vision and Purpose

A Revisiting of Vision and Purpose

A revisiting of Vision and Purpose

The document was ancient in appearance. An aged, grey tone. A hole punched through the cover. The reference to the “Mennonite Conference of Alberta” reflecting the language of a bygone era.  This was a scan of the MCA Constitution on file with government offices. For those of us working on updating MCA’s Constitution and Bylaws, we wondered how much had changed. In spite of many revisions, MCA had not updated its submission to government officials in almost 50 years. Opening its contents felt like uncovering a new layer of an archeological dig, providing a window into the deep past.

Yet while much had changed in terms of language, style, and structure, we found the purpose statements revealed a surprising affinity to the purposes of MCA today. Over the years the number of statements in our documents had increased as we strove to capture more and more of what it means to be the church in today’s world. Careful examination showed that these all were essentially covered by the five statements found in this 50-year old document.

When it comes to questions of purpose, vision, and identity, the challenges of the present lead us to grasp for new ways to describe what we are called to do and be. While the words we use may change, the principles behind them show remarkable consistency as we strive to live as Christ calls us to live.

At times the process of reviewing of MCA’s Constitution and Bylaws may have felt more like sifting through grains of sand than thinking through important aspects of what it means to be the church. And yet documents like these name important aspects of who we are and what we aspire to be. May our new Constitution and Bylaws serve us well as they reframe our past in ways that allow us to live into the future together!

Article 3 from MCA’s Constitution, approved by delegates at the Annual Delegate Sessions, March 20, 2021:

Our Purpose is:

      • To Promote the spiritual wellbeing and the unity of the Spirit among member congregations
      • To Provide mutual assistance in the work of the Kingdom of God
      • To Encourage a Christian faith from an Anabaptist-Mennonite Perspective
      • To Provide an avenue of engagement between the congregations of the region, between regional churches in Canada, with affiliated organizations, and with other faith traditions
      • To Provide an avenue of service within our membership and to those who are not within a member church organization
      • To Provide assistance to small groups or congregations who are not able to sustain themselves.