In 2020, Preston Mennonite Church and Wanner Mennonite Church began a partnership together in sharing pastors. As part of this joint partnership, the churches formed a covenant to guide our relationships with each other.
Covenant Between Wanner and Preston Mennonite Churches
August 31, 2020
This Covenant is a statement of intention and commitment as our two congregations, Wanner and Preston continue our history of sharing in ministry by also sharing pastors. We view this Covenant as an “evergreen document,” i.e. flexible and adaptable as we gain experience, get to know our new pastors and follow God’s Spirit.
Purpose and Intent
Both Wanner and Preston congregations feel called to bring God’s “healing and hope” to the Cambridge community and beyond.
Both congregations, while they are becoming smaller and aging, want to remain vital and sustainable, i.e. with a sense of purpose, significant relationships and relevant connections in their respective communities and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Both congregations desire to remain open to the Spirit’s leading as they venture forward.
To engage a pastoral team (1.5 FTE) who will assist Wanner and Preston in the two-fold purpose of:
a) thriving and sharing Christ’s love within their respective congregations, with their own distinct identities, priorities, worship and leadership styles, budgets, properties and community connections.
b) collaborating in joint worship and ministry initiatives which bring “healing and hope” to Cambridge, to the world beyond and to creation.
Why this initiative?
To enjoy the gifts and energy of a larger group of people in our joint ministry and activities.
To strengthen the impact of the two congregations in our neighbourhoods and wider world.
To provide efficiencies of time and cost and a diversity of leadership gifts and styles through shared pastoral leadership.
As congregational leaders, members and adherents, we will share the responsibility for ongoing relationship building between the two congregations through the following commitments:
- We covenant to speak well of one another in order to nurture, create, and foster the goodwill we desire between our congregations.
- Humility, respect and honesty will characterize our interactions.
- We will approach our differences and ask our questions with an attitude of curiosity and self-reflection rather than judgement or criticism of the other.
- We will trust our pastors and leaders to work out a fair and equitable arrangement for sharing of time and space that will best meet the needs of both congregations. We will collaborate in finding ways to minimize duplication of efforts for the pastors and support them in navigating the complexities of two congregations’ demands.
- As we are able, we will support the joint activities that are planned.
- When either congregation has a concern about or wishes to change the relationship, the other congregation agrees to engage in a process to find a way forward that is agreeable to both.