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    Summer 2001 [Newsletter Banner]

[EAF disbanded in late 2001]
EAF and the Future
Our Vision and Purpose
Setting a New Course
Difficult But Necessary
A Final Word of Thanks
A Difficult But Necessary Decision

Several factors influenced this decision. For the past nine years, EAF has sought to be a voice for renewal within our constituent denominations, mainly the MC and GC. While focusing on the affirmation of Anabaptist distinctives within a framework of evangelical orthodoxy, we have nonetheless spoken to those issues where we differ with the MC/GC establishment. We could not endorse the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, and we have steadfastly opposed the merger of the MC and GC into the MCUSA. In fact, it is likely that not one member of the EAF Board of Directors will be a member of MCUSA, depending, in some cases, on final action of the area conferences and districts with which they are currently affiliated. In the face of this reality, the EAF board decided that continuing to promote EAF as a voice for renewal in the MC/GC simply lacked integrity.

Further, despite our portrayal as mavericks in some quarters, everyone associated with the leadership of EAF is a churchman at heart. EAF is a "parachurch" organization, and one whose voice has been needed. The changing environment brought about by the MC/GC merger has prompted a change in focus and strategy on the part of EAF leaders, so far as the work of the kingdom of God is concerned. The EAF board is unanimous in their desire to turn their attention away from the critique of the MC/GC and toward the development of one or more alternative affiliations of evangelical Anabaptist congregations. To that end we hereby declare our blessing upon such existing affiliations as the Conservative Mennonite Conference and the Evangelical Mennonite Church and encourage the development of the Association of Evangelical Mennonite Congregations as a nationwide context for fellowship and accountability among regional groups and individual congregations which, for whatever reason, do not align elsewhere.

Finally, the EAF Board of Directors had to face the fact that even a reorganized EAF would be hard-pressed to develop the financial base necessary to fund its future endeavors. For these reasons and more, the board has taken action to bring closure to this ministry.

Now to Him Who is able to do
exceeding abundantly beyond all
that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory
in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20, 21 (NASB)


Appropriate Closure

Over the next few months I will be devoting my time and energies to efforts designed to facilitate closure in a responsible and appropriate fashion. This newsletter is the first step in that direction. A major portion of my time during this summer will be devoted to the composition and compilation of a booklet, to be titled For the Sake of the Kingdom, which will survey the nine-year history of EAF and assess its impact on the Anabaptist community. This booklet will contain, among other things, a list of those who have served on the EAF Board of Directors and the text of all the newsletters which EAF has published over the years. It will also outline our vision for the future of evangelical Anabaptism and offer some suggestions for ways in which evangelical Anabaptist congregations can impact the American culture in general and the evangelical and Anabaptist communities in particular. A cover letter accompanying this newsletter describes how you may obtain a copy of this booklet, which should be available by the end of September.

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© 2001 Evangelical Anabaptist Fellowship