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December 15, 2021

Contents


Save the Date: Regional Meetings

We are excited to announce that there will be two regional meetings offered in 2022, one in-person and one via zoom. One difference from years past is that delegates can sign up for either option based on how they would prefer to engage–registation is not limited to persons of particular regions. Delegates will have the option to choose one of the following:

  • March 19 — in-person (weather and Covid precaution permitting) will gather at Fairhaven Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne, IN.
  • March 26 — online gathering via Zoom.

More information and registration will be made available in the coming months.


Changes to weLink

In reviewing our patterns of communication to you from Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, we have decided that weLink will be published on the 15th of every month. This gives some space between other official email and print communications and allows us to provide more consistent communication standards from month to month.

Announcements that come into the conference office between times of publication will be continue to be posted to our Announcement page and will be shared on our Facebook page. We invite you to follow and interact with these posts or check back on the website. If you have an announcement to be shared, you can request it by sending information to the conference office email.


Holiday Hours for the IMMC Office

We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! As many of us will be celebrating with family and friends, we pray for safe and meaningful gatherings for all.

Please note, our offices will be closed from December 24 – January 3. We will reopen on Tuesday January 4, 2022.

 


A Word from the Missional Leadership Team

Advent greetings to you on this December day.  It always seems that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas passes quickly, all flowing together in a holiday rush.  Even in this unusual second year of pandemic, this early December still feels in the holiday flow from Thanksgiving, to Advent, and toward Christmas.

As we gathered for our Missional Leadership Team (MLT) meeting, the tenor of our gathering was very much in the spirit of both the Thanksgiving and Advent seasons.  Many times throughout the day, we spoke of our gratitude for the ways God has been at work in conference this year.  We are so grateful for the faithfulness, passion, and service of Joanne and Sharon as conference ministers.  They are not only sustaining but evolving the ministry of IMMC, aided tremendously by the capable and Spirit-filled work of Clayton as Office Administrator and Jim Norton’s valuable and faithful work as bookkeeper.  We are also giving thanks for the ongoing care and passion of the Leadership Teams and congregations in bringing the mission and vision to life.  Our own gathering was deeply enriched by the addition of new MLT members Shawn Lange and Rolando Sosa, and we offer praise to God for their willingness to enter into their new roles with energy, care, and prayer. The spirit of Thanksgiving filled our hearts and our time together.

At the same time, I felt the spirit of Advent alive and among us.  There was a deep sense of watchfulness and anticipation for the ways that Christ will be born into our conference in new ways in the coming seasons.  One of the most “pregnant” efforts of IMMC these days is our Growing Our Intercultural Witness focus; as we engaged conversations about leadership trainings and discussed names of people to make up the Intercultural Working Group, I felt the presence of Christ drawing near.  I wait with eager anticipation for the new life this focus will bring in our conference.

In this season when we hold gratitude for all God has done, awareness of all God is doing, and expectation for all God will do; may we give thanks and watchfully anticipate that the Spirit of the same Christ who was born in Bethlehem is being born anew among us in Indiana Michigan Mennonite Conference!

 

Naomi Yoder, MLT Secretary


Celebrating

  • Advent and the invitation to imagine God’s shalom in our weary land. Together we claim God’s Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love as we anticipate God’s reign in our chaotic. As you do, we recommend Jim Crogert’s recording of We Come.
  • Shawn Lange and Rolando Sosa and their eager “yes” to join Missional Leadership Team (MLT). Shawn, pastoral team member at New Foundation United in Christ, and Rolando, pastoral team member at Piedra Viva Mennonite Church, bring significant energy, passion, and leadership experience to the MLT role of visioning and guiding Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.


Connecting

  • Joanne Gallardo and Sharon Yoder attended annual meetings, virtually, with MC Canada and MC USA conference and regional ministers on December 2 and 3. The in-person meeting was cancelled for the second consecutive year because of Covid. Virtual gatherings included resourcing from Tanya and Dan White, Jr., founding members of The Kineo Center, newly formed to support ministry leaders in finding rest, refreshment, and renewal.  
  • Sharon joined Prairie Street Mennonite Church’s 150th celebration on November 21. Invigorating music and storytelling gave witness to God’s faithfulness in the past and hope for ongoing Spirit guidance into the future.
  • Joanne preached at Fellowship of Hope November 14 and at College Mennonite Church on December 5.
  • Missional Leadership Team held an in-person meeting in the spacious fellowship hall at East Goshen Mennonite Church on December 4. A significant focus for the day was to develop goals for Growing Our Intercultural Witness.


Credentialing and Leadership Development

Ministry Credentialing Team recently had credentialing interviews with Lee Pfahler, Mariah Martin, and Rolando Sosa; Lee will receive a license toward ordination for chaplain ministry and Mariah, pastor at Bonneyville Mennonite Church, is preparing for ordination. Rolando will be installed at Piedra Viva on December 19, joining Naun Cerrato on the pastoral team, with Joanne officiating on behalf of IMMC.

In November, Sharon had contact with congregational leaders of 9 congregations who are in various stages of leadership transition. Currently we have 2 active pastoral searches in process.

In the past month Leadership Enhancement Team (LET) has received two applications for the Leadership Training Grant, which provides financial support for ministers seeking leadership training and/or continuing education.

WellSpan provided a webinar on self-care for pastors on November 8. Pastors who were not able to join the webinar may contact Clayton at the office (imoffice@im.mennonite.net) to request a link to watch the recording.


Financial Update


From Amigo Centre

  • Save the Date: Amigo Women and Girls Retreat is scheduled for March 18-20, 2021. Speaker is Leandrea Lange from New Foundation United in Christ Fellowship, Elkhart, Indiana. Theme:  God Brings Peace in the Storm.  The worship team from Yellow Creek Mennonite Church will be leading worship during this retreat. Watch for additional details coming to your congregation soon.
  • Save the Date: Winter Youth Retreats are being planned for January and February. Registration is open.  For questions contact info@amigocentre.org.
    • Sr High – January 14-16 – Speaker: Eric Frey Martin
    • Jr High – February 18-20 – Speaker: Adam Fellers


Additional announcements that come throughout the month will be posted to our Facebook page and our website. To request an announcement be posted, contact the Conference Office.
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