On Sunday, July 17, Susie Ford shared a unique parable about the sustainable nature of agricultural bio-diversity. We then discussed the need for greater diversity within the church. Here are the comments that various individuals shared.
- I appreciate the ideal situation – to have a very diverse group – but I also realize that a homogeneous group is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of beliefs. You have to have similar beliefs to make it easier for a church to move forward – a theology or form of worship that makes everyone in the fellowship comfortable.
- Is diversity really just about race? What about economic, educational, cultural, and political diversity? Race is just one measure of diversity.
- It’s important for a church to have boundaries, not walls. Boundaries are flexible. They tell us where we stand at any point in time – what we believe in. If we are not comfortable with certain beliefs, we can choose not to embrace them until such time as we feel more in alignment with them.
- I love the vision of diversity. Respect and tolerance are vital for keeping a diverse population together.
- I embrace diversity in everyday life, but I find it difficult to embrace others’ views when they feel offensive or threatening. I guess that’s part of the dynamic tension of being around people who think differently than I do.
- I started attending FCMF because of what Steve and Gus were doing – being self-sacrificing and serving others. When people serve God outside of their comfort zone, they often become more comfortable with diversity. I believe there is a real sense of acceptance among Mennonites.
- I think there are different ways of thinking about diversity. For example, in marriage, diversity must be tolerated. After all, marriage is often the coming together of different internal belief systems. Also, when examining diverse opinions, we must remind ourselves that extreme ideas often come from a place of pain and suffering.
- I have found that diverse opinions and behaviors are more acceptable and beneficial as long as people are good to one another.
- When people clash, it may be best to have some sort of person who can act as a buffer and bear witness to the differences between people.