Core Values

 

The Quebec Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches (AEFMQ) has, within the Evangelical movement and within the great family of Anabaptist/Mennonites, its own specific distinctives. The following core values, viewed as a whole, distinguish this grouping of individuals, churches and agencies as unique.

1.         We value personal faith and a faith community that is turned towards God, centered on Jesus Christ and led by the Holy-Spirit. We believe that God is the source of all life and that we owe all good things to the central character of Jesus Christ who died and was raised again for our salvation. Our Christian life is lived in dependance on the Holy Spirit. We seek to glorify God in the world.

2.         We value the Scriptures as the foundation of faith and life: The Scriptures are important to us as an instrument of revelation, of reflection and of transformation for us personally and collectively for the community. We live out our faith and face life’s issues in the light of the teachings of Scripture.

3.         We value the reading of Scripture in context: we encourage the reading, interpretation and explanation of Scriptures in the light of its numerous literary styles and its socio-historical context. We encourage our Churches and our Agencies to seek a just balance between liberal and fundamentalist theology. We read the Scriptures contextually in order to interpret and apply them to our own context. (See addendum 2: three schools of theological thought).

4.         We value unity and theological diversity. We are grounded in the Scriptures acknowledge the importance of building on clear theological premises, we do, however, accept differences of opinion in our Churches, particularly on problematic and controversial issues. Internal disagreement should not, however, result in tension and division. We encourage dialogue, respect and freedom of conscience, rather than rigid interpretations and positions. (See addendum 3: Our Confession of faith and its place in our Churches).

5.         We value social and cultural relevance. We continually seek to renew ourselves and to adapt to today’s culture. We may even re-invent ourselves, always remaining true to Scripture, in order to remain relevant in our Christian witness. We seek to develop a Christian perspective on the issues of the day.

6.         We value human relationships and Christian Community. We consider the Quebec Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches (AEFMQ) as a large spiritual family where we value each human being and cherish the relationships we have one with another.  We would like to be known by our love, our hospitality, our sense of respect, our conciliatory attitude and the unity of our communities. We believe in the importance of building clear and useful structures that favour positive interpersonal relationships. (See addendum 4: The Structural Model of Our Provincial Association).

7.         We value an articulate, intelligent and balanced expression of our faith. We encourage an authentic, well-balanced and intelligent faith not only in our discourse but also in practice. The laity and plurality of today’s society are reason to express our Christian faith in an intelligent, respectful and tolerant spirit.

8.         We value collegial and shared leadership. We believe in shared responsibilities and shared authority. We value the abilities of listening, teamwork, mutual consultation and confidence in one another.  We wish to encourage professional leadership based on integrity, transparency and service.

9.         We value theological and biblical training.  We believe that biblical and theological training will develop qualified leaders with a deep knowledge of the Scriptures, a critical spirit, a well-articulated thinking process and a passion for the faith and for Christian mission. This biblical and theological training should, when possible, include studies in human sciences to help leaders gain a greater understanding of the human condition.

10.      We value a holistic comprehension of mission. Evangelism (proclamation) and Social involvement (compassion) are not in opposition: both are integral aspects of the mission of the Church.  We seek to both proclaim and to live out the Gospel. We recognize that the Church is a community with a mission and as such must be directed to the outside and not toward the interior.

11.      We value inter-confessional cooperation. We serve God frankly and openly in a spirit of collaboration with other Christian faith groups. We reject competition and isolationism and we refuse to depreciate the traditions of other churches. Our greatest desire is for sincere cooperation and partnership.  

12.      We value social presence and proximity. We are concerned with world issues and wish to contribute to the world’s well-being with a very tangible and concrete presence in our society. We seek to identify the needs of our locality and to respond to these needs with the people and resources available to us. We serve in the Spirit and in the name of Christ.

13.      We value diversified personal and community spirituality. We acknowledge that we will encounter, within our communities, varied life styles, varied ways of nourishing the faith and varied ways of living out the faith. Believers are encouraged to serve God, in the Church and in the world, according their own personal profiles.  We refuse to impose religious moulds for personal piety as well as for personal devotional styles. We believe that Churches can adopt diverse celebration styles:  liturgical or spontaneous, formal or informal, structured or flexible, expressive or meditative, traditional or contemporary music styles. One can sincerely worship God through any of these varied forms and styles. The Holy Spirit can be present in every situation and as only as He knows best.  

14.      We value peace, justice and compassion. We believe that these three elements are at the heart of Christ’s ethical and social teachings. We live out and encourage these values in our Churches and in the world around us for the good of humanity. The dimension of experience in faith (the personal and deep relationship with God through Jesus Christ) leads to the ethical dimension (application in daily living).