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January 15, 2023

weLink is a monthly email newsletter that helps in connecting congregations of Indiana Michigan Mennonite Conference.

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Plans are still coming together for the Spring Summits (Delegate Sessions) that will happen in March. More information should come out in early February. But be sure to get these dates on your calendar!

Also, we are planning to have Annual Sessions on June 9-10 at Amigo Centre.

A Word from the Missional Leadership Team

When we have asked delegates what they appreciate about Conference, we often hear “we’re glad to have help finding a pastor when we need one, and that the Conference holds their credentials.”

In Mennonite Church USA it is the area conference that has this responsibility. An IMMC  conference minister gathers appropriate applicants for a particular congregation and a “search guide” walks with search committees as they review and interview the applicants. When a congregation has named the person they want to hire, the Ministry Credentialing Team (MCT) and conference minister interviews and credentials the person for ministry. The resolution passed last May by MCUSA delegates to rescind the Membership Guidelines emphasizes the ongoing responsibility of each conference to have their own credentialing criteria.

So, in the upcoming meeting of the Missional Leadership Team (MLT) – a retreat at Amigo Centre February 3-4  — we will review how we currently assess pastors for ministry. There are six areas where we expect knowledge and practical skills: Biblical story, Anabaptist story and theology, Christian faith and discipleship, self-awareness and emotional health, missional engagement, and leadership, with intercultural skills in each area.

We are joyfully grateful for the ongoing work of our pastors, and as an MLT also take seriously our responsibility to provide oversight to the process of hiring and credentialing them. We will ask: are we satisfied with the current criteria? Is there anything to be changed or added? Does the rescinding of the Membership Guidelines encourage us to make any changes? 

Thank you for praying with us for the wisdom and love of God’s Spirit to bless these conversations and the ongoing ministry of our conference!

~ Brenda Meyer, Conference Moderator


  • God is with us! Jesus, Emmanuel, is with us and will be, to the end of time!
  • Opportunities to reconnect with friends and family over the holidays.
  • Steady financial support from IMMC congregations, which makes it possible for our staff to continue supporting pastors and leaders as each of you engage the world God loves.


  • Joanne will preach at Prairie Street Mennonite and Sharon will preach at Fellowship of Hope on Sunday January 15.  
  • Sharon joined the quarterly Midwest Chaplains gathering on January 10. The zoom meeting was hosted by Mennonite Health Services.
  • Joanne attended Pastor Jon Brown’s retirement party after completing 46 years working for the city of Elkhart. It was a large and joyous celebration! Jon also serves as co-pastor, with his wife Cora, at Church Without Walls.  

Credentialing and Leadership Development

  • Leandrea Lange will be ordained at New Foundation United in Christ Mennonite Fellowship on Sunday afternoon, February 19. Frances Ringenberg will preach, and Sharon Yoder will officiate the ordination.
  • LET continues to match congregations with congregational coaches as requested. Please contact the Conference office if your congregation would like to learn more about the work of congregational coaches, or if you would like to serve.

Financial Update

From Amigo Centre

2023 Winter Youth Retreat Dates

  • Senior High – January 13-15 — Speaker: JE Misz
  • Junior High – February 17-19 — Speaker: Trisha Cousino

2023 Scrap, Craft, and Quilt Dates

  • March 16-20 (This date has changed)
  • April 13-17
  • September 28-October 2
  • November 30-December 2

Men’s Retreat 

  • April 28-30
  • Join us in April for our first annual Men’s Retreat. James Yoder and Leon Bauman will be leading the group in creating stories of hope out of the life experiences that we bring to the table. This retreat will allow time for personal reflection and small and large group sharing while we seek to envision the next chapter in our stories. 

Five Things Friday Roundup

Conference Co-Minister Joanne Gallardo writes monthly for the Anabaptist World. Check out this month’s Five Things Friday Roundup: The Power of Vulnerability.

Hope for the Future

Hope for the Future is an annual gathering of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leaders from across the country who are connected to Mennonite Church USA. We gather as a worshipping community of faith for spiritual renewal, resourcing and mutual support. Hope for the Future provides a safe setting to assess the present reality and experiences of BIPOC leaders within Mennonite Church USA and to address ways to grow in solidarity across cultural, racial and intergenerational lines for systemic transformation. 

This year, Hope for the Future will gather February 3-5, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. There are conference funds available to BIPOC persons from IMMC who would like to attend.

Pastoral Care for Climate

What is the role of the church in addressing climate change? Explore spiritual, emotional, social and political responses to the changing climate in this yearlong cohort for pastors and other leaders. Framed by in person retreats, one in February in Virginia and one in December in Michigan, Zoom sessions every other month will take place in between. Work with pastors, church leaders, chaplains, and others on a climate project for your congregation or organization. This is a partnership of Eastern Mennonite Seminary and the Anabaptist Climate Collaborative (formerly the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions).

Click here to learn more.

Employment Opportunities

  • Mennonite Mission Network has several employment opportunities listed on their employment page.
  • Mennonite Education Agency lists openings throughout Mennonite-affiliated schools on their employment page.
  • Explore pastoral opportunities in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference and beyond on MC USA’s  Pastoral Openings list.

If you would like to list an opportunity here, please contact the Conference Office.

Copyright © 2023 Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, All rights reserved.

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