News

Warmth, Honesty Mark Mennonite-Adventist Dialogue

Release date: 
Saturday, 9 June 2012

Liestal, Switzerland—Representatives of Mennonite World Conference and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists met in dialogue May 28-31 at the Bienenberg Study and Conference Center in Liestal, Switzerland. The four days of conversation were characterized by both Christian warmth and frank exchange of perspectives.

This was the second round of dialogue based on the theme, “Living the Christian Life in Today’s World.” The first series of conversation took place June 28-July 1, 2011 at the Adventist church world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In the latest dialogue, major papers were presented from each side on eschatology, non-conformity, and hermeneutics. In addition, shorter discussions took up questions raised by each communion prior to the meeting in Bienenberg. Mennonites responded to issues of pacifism; Sabbath; salvation and obedience; personal life-style; ordinances; hermeneutics; and eschatology. Adventists addressed questions of military service; Sabbath; contextualization; justice and discipleship; the role of women; church discipline; Ellen White; and eschatology.

During one afternoon the group took time out to visit sites from Anabaptist history, and also a few places of interest to Adventists.

At the conclusion of the dialogue, the representatives worked on a statement summarizing the values of the discussion for each side, and also recommendations concerning the dissemination of the materials generated in the conversation. This paper will be referred to the respective authorities of each communion that authorized the two-year conversation.

Participants from the Mennonite World Conference were: Robert Suderman (Canada), Valerie Rempel (United States), Henk Stenvers (The Netherlands), Patricia Urueña (Colombia), Danisa Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), and Tom Yoder Neufeld (Canada). From the Seventh-day Adventist Church participants were: William Johnsson (Australia), John Graz (France), Bert Beach (United States), Denis Fortin (Canada), Peter Landless (South Africa), and Teresa Reeve (Canada).

Joint release Mennonite World Conference and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists