The Eastern Carolina District of the Virginia Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church USA is the newest member of the North Carolina Council of Churches. The addition of the group brings to 17 the number of denominations who have chosen to work with the Council on issues of social justice and Christian unity.
“Mennonites are one of the three historic peace churches, along with the Friends and the Brethren. We are very pleased to welcome them into Council membership,” said Council Executive Director George Reed. “I am also grateful to Spencer Bradford, pastor of the Durham Mennonite Church and the Council’s former peace associate, for encouraging the Eastern Carolina District to join.”
The district includes five congregations: the Chapel Hill and Greensboro Mennonite fellowships and the Durham, Graham and Raleigh Mennonite churches.
“While Mennonites have participated in many collaborative efforts, for a variety of reasons we have been hesitant to formally join ecumenical bodies. Several years ago, Mennonite Church USA, our national conference, became a full participant in Christian Churches Together, but very few area conferences have joined statewide ecumenical bodies,” said Andre Gingerich Stoner, Director of Interchurch Relations, Mennonite Church USA. “This is an important opportunity for us to give and receive gifts in the body of Christ, to engage with each other at the points of common conviction and also on differences, and to more fully live into our place in the broader body of Christ.”