Sojourn Mennonite Church is creating structures that support our commitment to leadership and ministry of the laity. We are young in age and some structures are still being birthed.
Belonging and Covenanting to the Sojourn Community
In the most basic sense, belonging to Sojourn Mennonite is defined by active participation. Individuals who attend worship, small groups, social gatherings, and service activities regularly may consider themselves to belong to our congregation and will be acknowledged as such by others. As a congregation called by Christ to be inclusive, caring, and peace-minded, we welcome all who come our way to fully participate with us.
For those wishing for more formal covenanting with our congregation, we offer the Sojourn Covenant which is affirmed through baptism or reaffirmation of faith, where participants publicly declare their intent to follow Jesus in their lives. That is also opportunity for participants to affirm and support the mission and purpose of the church. Sojourn celebrates covenanting with great joy for it gives opportunity to choose Sojourn and for Sojourn to choose in return.
A Process for Spiritual Discernment and Communal Decision-Making : Sojourn makes decisions in congregational life using a modified consensus process. We typically do not vote on issues of importance to the church. Communal discernment is achieved through intentional discussions proceeding and at scheduled congregational meetings. Occasionally, small groups will be used to insure all have been heard in a safe context. We strive to listen to the Spirit speaking through all persons in these discussions. Our goal is to make decisions congruent with God’s wishes and dreams for our congregation while being respectful of our participant’s available time and energy.
First Fruits Giving, Stewardship, and Contributions
Public offerings are not typically taken in worship. Instead, contributions may be left in the basket in the back of the worship area provided for this purpose or given to the treasurer. Members are encouraged to contribute to the financial care of the church, which includes the pastor’s salary and benefits, rental of church space, education materials, hospitality, music and child care, community mission, and special church funds. Each fall, we initiate a First Fruits Giving program that invites all participants to share their intention for giving in the coming year. These responses help shape the budget for the coming year. We recognize that families and households differ in resources and we honor and appreciate all gifts. Because we believe that care and support for persons in the larger church community is also important, funds for larger church ministries are noted in the church budget. Special offerings are taken on occasions to support special needs within Sojourn, the Sojourn community, or the needs of the wider church community.
Abuse Prevention Program
Sojourn Safe is the Abuse Prevention program for our congregation. Sojourn will not allow, condone, or tolerate the abuse of any child or youth at our church building or at any church-sponsored activity. Recognizing that there is potential for abuse to occur, Sojourn has taken preventive steps in developing this abuse prevention program and will follow all laws with respect to child abuse/neglect reporting procedures. This program requires background checks for all staff, including pastors and all child care workers.