The MCUSA Conventions have forced me to think about identity. During my teenage years, the MCUSA Conventions played a central role in how I came to understand my identity as a Mennonite in the larger context of the denomination. It was at Convention that I met other young Mennonites from all over the country. It was at Convention that I first started thinking about my upcoming college education. It was at Convention that I was forced to realize just how far the Mennonite Church has to go in practicing the radical inclusivity that Jesus teaches us.
It was at Convention that I was told I could not be gay and Christian. I’ve engaged in difficult conversations with Mennonite brothers and sisters who could not support my membership in the Mennonite Church.
The MCUSA Conventions have forced me to think about identity—to listen to Christ’s calling in my life to build bridges, advocate for the marginalized, and to walk humbly with God. Through the MCUSA Conventions, I have learned that Christ’s radical inclusivity calls us to be active—to actively seek justice in our immediate communities and around the world. For me, this is at the core of my identity as a Mennonite.
In Phoenix, I look forward to singing for those who remain silent and to express my identity as a Mennonite called to actively seek justice and peace.