Editor’s Note: Nations & Generations Gatherings are a component of our annual Assembly gathering. These gatherings, are held for the leaders of the Global Majority (the leaders of color) in Mosaic Conference. Three gatherings, November 15 (English), November 18 (Indonesian), and November 20 (Spanish), were held via zoom this year.
I am a firm believer in God’s intentionality. On November 15, I had the pleasure of gathering with a small, diverse group of people from our Mosaic Conference for a gathering entitled, Nations and Generations. Not clear with our purpose at first, I quickly realized this was transformational work in progress.
It is my belief, that by divine appointment, those who were there for this session are those that were meant to be there. There was some pain at the table and a clear need for healing. Healing from seeing and experiencing racial injustice in sacred spaces. There was sorrow and regret at the table. Sorrow and regret that was birthed out of guilt by association. Bitterness had a seat at the table. Bitterness that had grown out of years of past hurt.
There were those who wanted to forget and those who wanted to remember. Those who felt like insiders and those who felt like outsiders. There were those who had a deep desire for transparency, trust, and truth.
But most importantly, Hope was at the table. Hope … that one day we would sit at a unified table where power, resources, and decision-making are evenly distributed. Where there is no them and us. Just one nation under God for generations to come.
The Generations that make up Mosaic Conference, with all its broken pieces, need to be at the table. For the ones who want to forget, let the elders help them remember. Remember the good for its value and the bad so it is not repeated.
Needs that were identified by this Nations & Generations Gathering:
- Shoulder tapping to gather the nations and Generations together.
- A realization of a different language, but a unified heart.
- Sharing of power, resources, decision-making.
- Realization that there is a History of Black Mennonites.
- Recognition of all the history being built within the Conference.
- Be the change that we are talking about.
- We must engage in honest conversations that lead to forgiveness, not sweeping it under the rug.
- We want to learn to live the example of Jesus who invites all to the table. Meeting them where they are in their language. Jesus knew he could not reconcile with people if He looked down on them, was condescending, or patronizing. Instead, Jesus desired to know them in their context.
- We must look at our Conference in its entirety. Those who have been around a long time, both white people and people of color, have thoughts of a truly mosaic conference. Those who have paved the way in the Mennonite faith, we need you at the table. You have valuable wisdom and knowledge to share. You bring history. All of the nuances bring life.
This post is also available in: Indonesia (Indonesian)