Guiding Statement on "Creating Space" for Discernment on LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Mennonite Church Manitoba is a community of congregations covenanted together for fellowship, mutual support, and shared ministry. We encourage congregations to discern the Spirit’s leading for themselves regarding their welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ+ people, and this has meant that our congregations are in different places theologically and practically regarding this. We continue “making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), recognizing that our unity in Christ is not complete uniformity of belief and practice and that diversity can be a beautiful, if sometimes surprising, gift from God.

In our shared spaces as Mennonite Church Manitoba, we strive to provide a welcoming and safe place for everyone. These shared spaces include our annual Gatherings, our Mennonite Church Manitoba office, our Camps with Meaning camps and programs, our committees and working groups, and our resourcing workshops and events. To make these shared spaces safe for all, we will avoid disparaging remarks about one another’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and we will respect chosen names and pronouns. We will also avoid disparaging remarks about one another’s perspective on LGBTQ+ welcome or affirmation, and we will not promote our congregation’s position as normative for all congregations.

This statement was approved by the Board of Mennonite Church Manitoba on February 28, 2023. It is offered by the Board as a guiding statement for us as a community of congregations. Congregations are encouraged to receive this statement in this spirit. For more background on this statement, please see Naming Our Differences, Committing to One Another: Continuing to "Create Space" within MCM.