2018 Heritage Sunday: Lamenting the Doctrine of Discovery

2018, 12 pp

This year on Mennonite Heritage Sunday, we want to acknowledge that the Doctrine of Discovery is part of our inheritance as a Mennonite church body. In this service of lament, we listen to the voices of past and present Indigenous peoples who identify in various ways with Anabaptism and/or Mennonite churches. Their voices bear testimony to the violence of 500 years of ongoing colonialism, as well as to the resilience of Indigenous peoples today.

As Mennonites, we come from a tradition of yearning for and working toward reconciliation. Yet genuine reconciliation is only possible with whole-hearted repentance, if we as a church body turn away from the ways of death and towards the new life God offers. This is why we begin with lament and confession. In the words of Emma LaRocque (Métis), “Reconciliation is a painful process which takes time, effort, and a lot of tears.” May God give us grace and courage as we open our hearts to lament, and to the new life that may flow with our tears.

--from the Introduction

Includes a Guide to acknowledging territory, created by Alison Brookins for Ted & Company TheaterWorks.

Also see the website Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery: A Movement of Anabaptist People of Faith.

Also see the related MC USA news article: Mennonite Heritage Sunday will offer lament for the Doctrine of Discovery.

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