Systems mapping reveals interconnected webs in the Church

Monday, June 6, 2022

When the COVID-19 pandemic drove people around the world to shelter in their homes, building closures prompted reflection about what it means to be a church when the congregation is unable to gather. Systems mapping research developed in summer 2021 by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) and the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement reveals that faith-based relationships extend well beyond the structures that house them. “Systems Mapping Reveals Interconnected Webs in the Church” in the spring 2022 issue of Grebel Now, written by former Centre Coordinator Emily Charron, reflects on this project.

systems mapping
When Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada (MCEC) approached the Centre to collaborate in mapping its ecosystem, Grebel Student and now Interim Coordinator at the Centre, Victoria Lumax, stepped up to visualize MCEC’s relationships with stakeholders.

This partnership between the Centre and MCEC revealed that the Mennonite Church extends far into local and global communities through faith-based relationships and non-religious connections. MCEC’s wide variety of partner agencies and ministries have common values and strive towards similar goals despite defining their missions in different ways. Moreover, this comprehensive view of MCEC’s ecosystem affirms that interpersonal relationships have long flourished outside of the church itself and will continue to do so regardless of how people come together.

Going forward, Lumax’s work will inform MCEC’s strategic planning process. By identifying areas of mission overlap, this systems-mapping project has highlighted areas for future collaboration and growth.

Read the full article in the Spring 2022 issue of Grebel Now for more on this research partnership. View the full Grebel Now issue to read more on the latest updates from Conrad Grebel University College.