Welcome Statement

WE BELIEVE that all individuals are created in God’s image, and all people, regardless of age, gender, race, citizenship status, abilities, or sexual orientation, are welcome as full participants in the life of our congregation.

CREEMOS que todo ser humano es creado a imagen de Dios, sin distinción de edad, género, raza, estatus migratorio, aptitudes y orientación sexual; es, por tanto, bienvenido y aceptado como participante activo en la vida de nuestra congregación.

Statement of Lament for Pandemic and Racism in the United States

Statement of Lament for Pandemic and Racism in the United States
Pastors and Board of College Mennonite Church
We are living in a nation on the brink, but we hardly know what lies over the edge. What we do know is that over 100,000 of us have died from COVID-19. Our economy has gone into a tailspin. Some people risk their lives by going to work; others have no work and no income.
We are divided over how to respond to the pandemic: stay home, maintain six feet of separation and wear face masks when we’re out in public–or not!

Once again we are also facing the heartbreaking reality of racism in this country. Unarmed black people are being shot and killed by civilians and police alike. In cities, peaceful protests are being met with violent retaliation, and rioters are burning buildings and cars and looting stores. For some of us older folks, it seems like we’re going back to the turmoil of the late 1960s. The fabric of our society seems to be tearing at the seams and our hearts ache at the injustice we see.

In this time of deep suffering and lament, where do we stand as a congregation?

First, some of us feel anxious or depressed about what is happening. If you are feeling overwhelmed, like you can’t cope with anxiety or depression, please seek help. Contact one of the pastors or talk to a trusted friend or seek professional help.

Second, we can reclaim our conviction as a congregation that every person, regardless of race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status was created in the image of God. Every person is worthy of our respect.

Third, we must continue to be a beacon of light and hope. We can advocate for peace and justice in our own community and beyond. We cannot be quiet when America’s original sin of racism keeps rearing its ugly head. We cannot be silent when the rich keep getting richer and the people in middle and lower classes aren’t given equal opportunity for education, jobs, and advancement.

Fourth, at CMC we are committed to meeting real human needs in the Goshen community. Thanks to the COVID-19 fund, we have been able to help more than 200 people with food, rent, utilities and other basic needs, in the name of Christ.

Fifth, our commitment to being a diverse congregation remains strong, even while we can’t meet together. We aren’t perfect, and it isn’t easy, but it is joyful, life-giving work. We want our congregation to reflect the diversity of the future kingdom of God.

Sixth, now more than ever we want to be a praying community. We can pray for ourselves and for each other. But we especially want to pray for people who are wounded by the pandemic, by the economic crisis, and by persistent, systemic racism.

In summary:
  • We can seek help for anxiety.
  • We can respect all of God’s children, whatever their race or status.
  • We can work for justice.
  • We can help meet human needs in our community.
  • We can embrace the diversity of God’s people.
  • We can pray, especially for the most vulnerable among us.

Now is a good time to recall Menno Simons’ favorite scripture from I Corinthians 3:11–
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.” We can make this our theme during these trying times. In the midst of suffering and lament, our faith and our congregation can flourish when they are built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

CMC Pastoral Team and Board
June 2, 2020

Phil Waite, Pamela Yoder, Daniel Yoder, Talashia Keim Yoder, David Maldonado, Madeline Maldonado

Board members:
Becky Horst, Everett Thomas, Richard Kauffman, Seth Yoder, Carol Grieser, Linda Christophel, Duane Stoltzfus

See also the Mennonite Church USA statement on racial injustice: