Recommendation on Exploring MC/GC Integration, 1989

In relation to the matter of cooperation between the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church, we affirm the following:

  1. We acknowledge that the Lord of the church is bringing us into close spiritual fellowship and increasing unity of faith and mission.
  2. We believe that it is in the will of God to heal the part of our history which is a story of division and conflict. We also believe that God would be pleased to bring together that family--the Dutch/North German/Russian and the Swiss/South German--who have come to North America and all persons who have become part of the Mennonite family.
  3. We therefore commit ourselves to enter into a time of deliberate exploration of integration, until 1995, during which we will work at the following cooperative tasks and directions:
    1. The articulation of a rationale for integration and the development of common vision.
    2. The undertaking in our congregations of a study of Christian unity.
    3. The writing of a conjoint confession of faith.*
    4. The development of a leadership polity statement that would achieve a degree of unity sufficient for harmonious working relationships as a unified denomination.
    5. The formation of a model, or models, of denominational structure at the area conference, national, and binational levels that would bring together the strengths of our current structures.
    6. The continued movement toward integration of program activities and of area conference structures where the local situation makes it appropriate. In the case of program boards and agencies, we should pursue policies of program cooperation that move toward convergence but without the loss of separate denominational identities.
    7. The deepening of mutual understanding through exchanges of personnel, fraternal visits, common publications, and the like.
  4. We request that the current Committee on Cooperation conclude its work at Normal 89 and that a new conjoint committee be appointed by the General Boards to guide and implement the process outlined above, with regular reporting to the General Boards and the biennial/triennial assemblies.
  5. We propose that by 1995 we will discern whether or not to enter a period of actual integration of our two denominations based on the development of a complete plan for such integration.*These projects are already in progress but are seen as important aspects of the exploration of integration.

Adopted by the Tenth Mennonite Church General Assembly, August 4, 1989, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, Proceedings p.37.