July 8, 2020
- God’s presence with us at Annual Sessions, June 19-20. The technology had a few glitches but worked well overall.
planning being done for the Journey Weekend Learning Event, Sept 11-13, and for new participants beginning at that time.
- Piedra Viva (Living Stone) began meeting at Sunnyside Mennonite Church 6 months ago and has begun the process of becoming a member of our conference. Pastor Naun Cerrato has a vision to plant Mennonite Spanish-speaking congregations across the Michiana area. As our conference is a community of congregations in relationship with each other, we invite you to find ways to “foster…affection, understanding, and mutual sharing” with the Piedra Viva congregation (RaV). One place to begin could be to share this video from Pastor Naun with your congregation: https://youtu.be/5LtAb_LTPog
- Search committees and leadership teams from North Goshen and Walnut Hill are finding creative ways during Covid-19 to introduce pastoral candidates to their congregations. We join them in praying for God’s leading in ongoing discernment.
- Dan undertook to have a meaningful conversation with each IMMC pastor this year. He did not complete that goal and is continuing to schedule with pastors. It has been an excellent experiment, and he will work toward a similar goal again this year.
- Sharon and/or Dan are taking part in check-in Zoom calls with conference ministers facilitated by MC USA staff.
Credentialing and Leadership Development
- Naun Cerrato was installed and licensed at Piedra Viva Mennonite Church, Elkhart, on June 14.
- Sharon Norton will be licensed in late August for her work as Mennonite Mission Network’s co-director of Europe and Africa.
- In June Sharon Yoder had contact with 15 potential pastoral applicants and with 7 congregations in various stages of transition.
For you and your congregation
IMMC churches remain open and active during this time of the coronavirus. As a community of congregations, IMMC provides resources to one another.
- SERMONS- In addition to Dan Miller’s sermon already made available to pastors, there are two sermons from Annual Sessions on the website. Dan is happy to join congregations live via online connection.
- COVID-19 resources on the website provide perspective as the US is in the fourth month of the pandemic. Practical resources about working from home or restarting in-person services.
- COMING SOON – a resource page for engaging about race and white supremacy.
- Leadership Enhancement Team (LET) has updated the job narrative for congregational coaches and invites congregations to take advantage of this opportunity for counsel and perspective. Contact Dan Miller or a member of LET if you have questions.
- Search guides continue to support pastoral search committees looking for new pastoral leadership for their congregation. If your congregation is entering a pastor change, contact Sharon Yoder.
- Area council groupings for prayer support, common projects, mutual learning.
If there is a question and you are not sure where to connect, contact the conference office. Anna, Dan or Sharon can help you think about possibilities.
Thank you for your generosity as we were able to end the year in the black. For June giving was $8,974 above expectations and $7,565 above expenses. While giving for the year was $5,712 below expectations it was $17,172 above expenses.- Jim Norton, Conference Bookkeeper
Amigo Centre Updates
- Amigo Centre is excited to announce that it is taking reservations for personal retreats. We have divided the Retreat Center into four suites that allows for four separate individuals or households to safely stay at Amigo Centre. Each suite has a refrigerator and microwave. Come and spend time canoeing, hiking or sitting around a campfire. We also have a special pastor rates. At this time we are not ready to serve meals but hope to add that very soon.
- Amigo Park update. Amigo Park is open with limitations. The bathhouse and playground area will not be available. All units must be self-contained at this time. For questions or to make reservations call 269-651-2734.
- Camp in a Box. We had tremendous success with our “Camp In a Box” – due to cancellation of summer camp. We are now in process of creating 80 additional boxes for the children from St Joe County who would normally have come for a free week of camp. Donations to offset expenses for this project are appreciated. Thank you for your support!
- Know Jesus update: Every two years Amigo and Goshen College have been offering a Jr High group event on the campus of Goshen College in late July, early August. Due to many changes over the last number of years, Goshen College and Amigo have determined that we will no longer offer this event as it has been done over the last 20 years. Amigo will be looking at options for creating a space at Amigo in the future and welcomes input and feedback from current Jr high leaders and groups on what you would like to see going forward. Send your comments to Colton@amigocentre.org or Mandy@amigocentre.org
- Women and Girls’ Retreat – SAVE THE DATE: The Women and Girls’ Retreat, traditionally held in the fall, has been moved to March 19-21, 2021. Due to the potential restrictions and hesitation around Covid-19, we felt this would put the retreat in a better position to be successful. More details will be coming in the next few months.
- Amigo Bike Michiana scheduled for September 11-13, 2020 has been cancelled, in consultation with MCC staff. We have determined that for safety concerns it is best not to hold this event this fall. Donations are still being accepted on behalf of this year’s project: Refugees in Ecuador. Go to https://donate.mcc.org/registry/bike-michiana to contribute directly. The date for Amigo Bike Michiana for MCC for 2021 is October 8-10. For more information visit amigocentre.org.
Updates from Amigo
Bethany Christian Schools was awarded a USDA Farm to School grant of $55,088 to expand the school’s already existing farm to school program. This grant will allow all students on campus (grades 4-12) to participate in meaningful and creative farm to school activities.
Over the past few years, Bethany has taken major steps towards increasing student access to locally grown food and helping them learn about its benefits. This grant will help students and faculty build on the enthusiasm that these tastes of locally-grown food provided.
More information can be found here: https://www.bethanycs.net/apps/news/article/1252246