March 10, 2021
A word from MLT…
God moves in mysterious ways! A phrase that resonates with me at different points in my experience on MLT. In December I wrote about the search process for “a” Conference Pastor. The delegates in January affirmed a new leadership model of Co-Conference Pastors. The overwhelming affirmation of Sharon Yoder as Co-Conference Pastor leaves the Search Committee to look for another Co-Conference Pastor that would work alongside her.
This new leadership model requires two new job descriptions. There is the current “Conference Pastor Job Narrative” that was developed over several years. Each Co-Conference Pastor needs to have clarity for their respective job requirements. As the Search Committee looks for candidates, they also need to know the areas of strengths that will be needed for candidates to be successful in this position. Defining and clarifying these positions has been a focus in February.
We continue to challenge ourselves in what it means to engage and develop intercultural competency in leadership teams, conference communication and resources to congregations. Nekesia Alayna Alexis provides consultation in our meetings and has recommended forming a working group to pull the many ideas generated into a workable list of ideas and tasks.
The use of Zoom and Google Meet has allowed MLT to meet during this pandemic. Meetings have been conducted on short notice any day or time that works for the team members. While in-person meetings are more personal, the actual working of the MLT has continued with a responsiveness that would be difficult if every meeting were face-to-face. We continue to seek God’s wisdom and guidance as we develop our intercultural competency and apply what we are learning to implement changes throughout the conference.
By Duane Yoder, IMMC Treasurer
Regional Meetings- March 20th
The second delegate meeting is March 20 on Zoom. Delegates and other interested individuals register by March 19 at https://2021regionalmeetings.eventbrite.com. Bring a warm drink and enjoy some music as we begin! Also bring along elements for communion during worship. Following worship, participants hear an update from Piedra Viva Mennonite Church and from the conference pastor search committee. Stewardship Team reports on the surprising financial status during COVID-19 and presents next year’s proposed spending plan. MLT is responses to proposed next steps for intercultural and anti-racism work.
Annual Sessions 2021
SAVE THE DATE: Annual Sessions 2021, June 18th and 19th.
We are pleased to invite you to Annual Sessions 2021 which will take place at the serene surroundings of the Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Michigan. At this time, we are planning to gather virtually on Friday afternoon (June 18) and in person on Saturday (June 19). Our theme this year is “Becoming One” sculpted from Ephesians 4:1-16. Registration will open the beginning of April. More information can be found on the IMMC website: https://im.mennonite.net/2021-annual-sessions/
- the first delegate meeting held March 6, for the times of interaction and the useful feedback about MLT’s proposed steps for intercultural and antiracism work. 42 people attended.
- that Richard Kauffman recently began serving as interim pastor at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Church.
- the work of Stewardship Team (ST). Stewardship Team oversees IMMC’s current and future viability. They monitor contributions and expenses, development efforts and investment strategies. One of ST’s privileges is receiving and reviewing Capital Fund Grant applications. When the Center for Congregations made technology grants available to Indiana churches, ST funded the same opportunity for Michigan congregations – two took advantage of the opportunity to purchase streaming technology.
- Constituency Leaders Council meets March 12-13 on Zoom. Brenda Meyer, Steve Slagel and Dan Miller are attending from IMMC. Mennonite Church USA executive board decided to hold biennial delegate sessions online due to covid concerns, and with a shortened agenda. Some decisions are being delayed until delegates can meet in person, hopefully between now and 2023. In the spring, CLC makes recommendations about potential resolutions to come to delegates. Chris Kauffman and Dan Miller will attend via Zoom the Journey board meeting on March 18.
- Sharon Yoder and Dan Miller, along with numerous IMMC pastors, attended AMBS Pastors and Leaders, via zoom March 1-4. Sharon connected with students interested in available pastoral positions.
- Sharon met with transitional and interim pastors via Zoom on Tuesday morning, March 9.
Credentialing and Leadership Development
- Healthy Boundaries Seminars are required for credentialed leaders in active ministry in IMMC conference. The Mennonite Church USA office is offering 4 trainings in 2021 for $25 each: 101 seminars on March 27 and September 18; and a 201 on self-care June 19 and a 201 on technology and new media December 11. Western District Conference also has several trainings available in 2021. Check here for more information and to register: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/ministry/church-vitality/healthy-boundaries-training/.
- Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship recently appointed a search committee to search for a part-time pastoral team member. Ruben Chupp is serving as their volunteer search guide on behalf of conference.
IMMC Conference Pastor Search
Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference (IMMC) is seeking a part-time pastor for the Conference Pastor team. If you are energized by working with pastors and leaders, visioning a new future for the Conference, dismantling racism, supporting diversity, and listening for God’s call for the church, we would love to hear from you. The job description is posted on the IMMC website. Applications will be accepted through March 26th.
Please submit applications and/or questions to the search committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifts Development Team- Youth Delegate Nominees
The IMMC Gifts Development Team invites nominations of young people, 16-21 years old, for two step-up delegates representing IMMC to the Mennonite Church USA delegate assembly. Please send suggestions and a short explanation to the email@example.com. The delegate assembly will be virtual this year, so no travel is necessary to participate. More information available on the MennoCon21 website.
MEA Seeking Executive Director
Mennonite Education Agency is seeking an Executive Director. Would you, or someone you know, be a good candidate for this position?
The MEA Executive Director has a deep commitment to a Christ-centered Anabaptist understanding of faith and life. They:
- Anticipate needs and opportunities, and listen to the wisdom and experience of others to identify appropriate directions for growth and change.
- Develop collective vision and actions that enable Mennonite education across all levels to flourish so that churches are strengthened.
- Lead with vision and flexibility.
- Understand, support and pursue relationships, collaboration and collective actions across all of Mennonite education.
- Articulate the value and purpose of Mennonite education.
- Seize new opportunities and act quickly as they arise.
For more information see the online job description, or call 574-343-1310.
The income for February was $6,071 below expectations and $1,840 below expenses. For the year to date the income is $11,863 below expectations but $3,774 above expenses. Thank you for your contributions.- Jim Norton, IMMC Bookkeeper
Bethany Christian Schools
Updates from Amigo
- Our next Full Moon Campfire event is scheduled for March 27 and 28. Call to make your reservations! We filled up in February, so call soon to hold your spot.
- March 27, 2021, from 1-3 pm – sign up for our “Orienteering 101” course, led by Cheryl Mast. This session will provide an introduction to using compass and other backcountry techniques for navigation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-651-2811 to register.
- RETREAT TO AMIGO: If you are looking for a way to get out of the house and have a safe place to stay, consider coming to Amigo! By using the Retreat Center and West Shore Lodge we have created six small designated suites to limit contact with people outside of your group. Meals and staff led activities available, and limited access to the Activity Center. When’s the last time you just sat and listened to the birds, Sandhill cranes and geese communicating around a lake… or watched the chipmunks and squirrels play… it’s very entertaining! Bring your family and we will provide the space for you to relax and play. Call 269-651-2811 or email us at email@example.com
- Amigo Park is taking reservations for summer 2021 (mid-May to mid-October). We look forward to a more normal summer at the Park, including the availability of the bathhouse. Call or email to inquire about availability soon. Phone: 269-651-2734 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NEW DATE: Schoolgirl Sampler Quilt Workshop…scheduled for a small group of quilters (two groups of five maximum) is scheduled for April 15-18, 2021, at Amigo. Led by Janis Nelson and Marie Troyer. Register through Mandy Yoder at Mandy@amigocentre.org. Check our web site under Adult Programs, Scrapbooking retreats for more details: https://www.amigocentre.org/scrap-craft–quilt-retreat.html There is a specific brochure for this event. Call or email with questions.
- April 12, 19, 26, 2020, an online Transitional Ministry Training will be held for individuals interested in pursuing this type of ministry. Transitional ministry offers a unique gift in a congregation’s life. Whether a change in pastor comes because of conflict, retirement, shrinking numbers and weariness, or questions of congregational viability, transitional ministry walks alongside a congregation while it answers questions of mission, courage and transformation. Visit tmt.amigocentre.org for additional information, or contact Amigo Centre at 269.651.2811 or email@example.com Registration deadline: March 12, 2021
- SAVE THE DATE! 24th Annual Amigo Centre Golf Scramble will be June 5, 2021 at 8 am. Registration to come soon. If you are interested in joining and want registration information feel free to contact Amigo Centre at 269-651-2811 to have your name added to the list.
- Summer 2021 Day Camp registration is open! Residential camp registration is closed until mid-March as we determine what we are able to offer this summer. Let us know if you or someone you know is interested in working as a counselor or providing leadership to our programming. Contactcolton@amigocentre.org for more information.
- Scrapbooking, Crafting and Sewing retreat update: we are currently only able to accommodate small groups. Instead of our normal large gatherings, the scheduled dates are limited due to providing all participants with a single room. We set groups of friends up in smaller areas to work (masks are still required inside). Dates outside our already scheduled retreats are possible! Call for availability – 269-651-2811.
- Amigo Bike Michiana scheduled for October 8-10, 2021. Our speaker will be Dr. Sibonokuhle Ncube, founding Executive Director/National Coordinator of the Brethren in Christ Compassionate and Development Services in Zimbabwe, currently studying at AMBS. In fall of 2018, Dr. Ncube was part of a Global South Voice Speaking Tour of the Great Lakes region, co-sponsored by MCC and the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. Here’s a story about our project: https://mcc.org/stories/addressing-conflict-caused-limited-resource Visit our web site for registration and additional information.
- Save the date: March 18-20, 2022 – Women and Girls’ Retreat at Amigo. Speaker: Rachel Ringenberg Miller, Pastor of Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, Kansas. Watch for more details!