… will be the focus of the Pathways, Session 2 (September 16)

Even as we affirm God’s love for us, we recognize the brokenness of our world — and of ourselves. The wholeness God desires for creation has been fractured by sin, both personal and systemic. Christ’s beloved church is not immune from sin. Our desire to seek peace and pursue it requires an ongoing, honest reckoning with sin.
Session Objectives
• To grapple together with our understanding of sin
• To name specific sins, both personal and systemic, that impact our lives, our churches
and our communities
• To celebrate the forgiveness of sins promised by God through Christ

Looking back on this week, please consider, and consider testifying about:

a. Were there moments when you experienced God’s love? When?

b. When did you encounter barriers that hindered your experience of God’s

Read from Article 7 of the “Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective” (1995):
“Sin is turning away from God and making gods of creation and of ourselves. We sin
by making individual and group choices to do unrighteousness and injustice. We sin
by omitting to do good and neglecting to give God the glory due our Creator and
Redeemer. In sinning, we become unfaithful to the covenant with God and with God’s
people, destroy right relationships, use power selfishly, do violence, and become
separated from God. As a result, we are not able to worship God rightly.”

Then read and consider the following Gospel texts:

a. Luke 18:9-14
b. Luke 18:15-17

Consider the following: (feel free to respond to this post with answers and testimonies)

a. Which character in Jesus’ Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector do you
identify with more? Why?
b. Which character seems more emblematic of the Mennonite church? Why?
c. Jesus offers a stern warning to those who would hinder little children from
coming to him. When might our church (either our local congregation or the
Mennonite church as a whole) have hindered people seeking Jesus?
d. How does the definition of sin in the “Confession of Faith” align with your
own working definition? How does it differ?

Even before the class session, feel free to respond to this post with answers and testimonies to any of the questions above.