A Conversation between Mennonite World Conference and the Seventh-day Adventist Church 2011-2012
In 2011 and 2012, representatives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and of the Mennonite World Conference met together for official conversations. In many respects the meetings proved to be a journey of mutual discovery.
Mennonites and Adventists have had frequent contacts during the past forty years, particularly through their participation in the annual meetings of the secretaries of Christian World Communions. These periodic encounters, along with other contacts, gradually led to the conviction on both sides that an official conversation might be both instructive and valuable.Adventists and Mennonites have distinct identities that are critically important to them. From the outset of discussions leading to the conversation, it was understood that organic union was not the objective. Rather, the dialogue would provide an opportunity for learning about each other's history, beliefs and values, clarifying misunderstandings, and removing stereotypes. Out of the discussion, therefore, might emerge areas where Mennonites and Adventists can join forces in selected areas of mutual concern.The two communions, viewed superficially, might appear to have little in common.