Lutherans reconcile with Virginia Peninsula Mennonite congregations

Posted on November 1, 2010 by VMMissions Staff

In response to an invitation from Reverend Frederick Guy and the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation in Newport News, Va., representatives from four local Mennonite congregations attended a “reconciliation” service and reception on Sunday, October 3. Eighteen persons from peninsula Mennonite churches—Huntington, Providence, Warwick River and Williamsburg—were warmly welcomed by Trinity Lutheran as, “our sisters and brothers in Christ in the Mennonite congregations on the peninsula of Virginia.”

During the Sunday worship service, Reverend Guy read the statement “Action on the Legacy of Lutheran Persecution of Anabaptists” approved by the Eleventh Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation on July 22, 2010. The statement, addressed to the Anabaptists, asks for forgiveness “from God and from our Mennonite sisters and brothers” for the bloody persecution of Anabaptists by Lutherans more than 500 years ago. Kathryn and Nelson Baer, from the Warwick River Mennonite Church congregation, responded by reading, “The Mennonite Response” written by the Mennonite World Conference.
Following the service, a reception was held in honor of the reconciliation of the two church bodies. Reverend Guy, on behalf of Trinity Lutheran, acknowledged the more than 100 years of exemplary leadership of the Mennonite community on the Peninsula.

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