Yesterday my babies headed to the Daytona Beach area to spend the rest of the week with the Wenzel Family, dear friends of ours. This week I'll be attending an "Evana Network" Pastors and Leaders Retreat in Lake Placid, FL.
As you may know (though I don't talk brand much) we are sent out by Eastern Mennonite Missions and I'm ordained with the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. Over the last number of years, the Mennonite Church has experienced some fairly significant challenges and conflict...much of which has been involving differing responses to same sex relationships. While I've (intentionally) stayed out of most of that conversation, I've been watching the development of this new emerging Evana Network with great curiosity.
Evana = Evangelical Anabaptist Network
And here is what it is in summary...EVANA Network is a ministry community of pastors and churches with a heart to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The common ground is in Anabaptist and Mennonite theology and the common vision is to live out Jesus’ Great Commission to make and grow disciples.
I've suspected that this will become a fast growing, safe place for mission-hearted, Jesus-focused Mennonite and Anabaptist churches to belong to. Grace for denominational politics and arguing seems to be running low for many. And Evana seems like a network where Jesus and Mission are a priority. We shall see.
I've decided to be here this week because:
1. I think it's history in the making.
2. I like what I see in Evana and I might just like a seat at the table.
3. Happened to be in FL and avaaible to attend.
4. Guys like Reggie McNeal and Wes Furlong are teaching.
5. My Brother Caleb and friend and Mentor Glenn are here and I'm thrilled to steal any time with them that I can.