- Resource Document
Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church: The Report of the Trilateral Conversations between Lutherans, Mennonites and Catholics 2012-2017
by Thomas R Yoder Neufeld, on behalf of the Faith and Life Commission
This study guide is an aid for member churches of the Mennonite World Conference to receive and process the “Report” (The Report of the Trilateral Conversations between Lutherans, Mennonites, and Catholics, 2012-2017) on the trilateral conversations on baptism. It has been prepared on behalf of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Faith and Life Commission (FLC) by Thomas Yoder Neufeld, Chair of the FLC, with the benefit of consultation with numerous persons in MWC, the FLC and participants in the Trilateral Conversations.
This guide is not a replacement for the rich and carefully worded Report. By distilling the content and adhering to the structure of the Report the guide provides an outline or road map. Readers of the guide are thus directed to the numbered paragraphs in the Report itself (e.g. [§ 120]). Quotation marks identify when specific words or phrases are taken from the Report.
The guide adheres to the structure of the Report:
- Chapter One focuses on the relationship of baptism to sin and grace [§§ 7-54]
- Chapter Two on communicating grace and faith in relation to baptism [§§ 55-83]
- Chapter Three on baptism and discipleship [§§ 84-112].
- The Conclusion identifies the convictions, gifts,challenges and considerations [§§ 113-164].
Throughout the guide readers will find questions for reflection on and testing of the Report. In keeping with the intentions of the participants in the Trilateral Conversations, the questions are intended to lead to a deepening of commitment to baptism and discipleship. Readers are, of course, not limited to these questions.
We give thanks to and for the MWC delegates to the Trilateral Conversations:
- †Alfred Neufeld Friesen (Paraguay),
- co-chair; Larry Miller (France/USA),
- co-secretary; Fernando Enns (Germany);
- Rebecca Osiro (Kenya); and
- John D. Rempel (Canada).
We give thanks also for the Catholic and Lutheran conversation partners who journeyed the path of unity in Christ together with them.