An Introduction to “A Call for Affirmation”

A study on human sexuality was mandated by the General Conference Mennonite Church Triennial Sessions in 1980 and by the Mennonite Church General Assembly in 1981. A joint committee was formed to prepare a study guide for use in congregations with opportunity for discussion and input by both constituencies at their regularly scheduled sessions/assembly.

Following congregational studies, and delegate discussions on behalf of both Mennonite groupings the Human Sexuality in the Christian Life Study Committee brought a report to the General Assembly in July 1987 at Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana. At that time the committee also brought to the delegates a statement which “calls Mennonite congregations to affirmation, to confession, and to covenant” (Proceedings, p. 8).

The following actions record the procedure during the General Assembly at Purdue leading to acceptance of the one page statement commonly referred to as “The Purdue Statement.”

  • “Action VIII: That the report of the study committee on Human Sexuality in the Christian Life be received. The study guide is to be recognized as a working document for study with congregations.” (Proceedings, p. 8).
  • “Action X: That the General Assembly receive and adopt as the position of this assembly the call to our congregations: a call to affirmation, to confession, and to covenant,…” (Proceedings, p. 9).

The Study Guide, “Human Sexuality in the Christian Life,” is available in the Good Library at Goshen College.

References are from Proceedings, Mennonite Church General Assembly, July 7-12, 1987, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. (Also available in MHL, Goshen College)