By Paula Snyder Belousek
Conference Minister Dick Barrett, Moderator Lynn Miller and Assistant Moderator Paula Snyder Belousek presented information about the Ohio Conference during the Oct. 17-18 meeting of Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council in Glendale, Arizona.
Each conference and constituency group gave 10-minute presentations over the two days of the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC). Each group answered three questions: 1. What essential functions does MC USA provide to empower your ministry? 2. What relationships in MC USA do you find most supportive in the fulfillment of your mission? 3. What does your constituency fight about/experience strong disagreement over, and how does this reflect the priorities of your constituency?
It was great to get a brief snapshot of all the different conference and constituency groups. There is a wide diversity in how each conference lives out its mission, but it is clear that God is doing great things across the United States in the conferences and groups represented.
Other topics at CLC included a report from Michael Danner and Iris de León-Hartshorn, MC USA executive staff, about the process of discerning next steps of updating the membership guidelines. Based on the feedback received at the last CLC meeting that was sent to the Executive Board, they will pull together an advisory group of no more than 24 people that represent the various stakeholders in the church. Their recommendations will go to the Executive Board in January, then to the CLC in spring. The intention would be to have recommendations for the delegate body to act on at the next biennium in (convention) 2021.
The CLC also heard a presentation from Shé Langley and Ashley Shuler of evangelism.pro on tools for digital discipleship. They shared three areas of focus: a church’s website, its use of social media, and telling stories as a way of not only communicating with church members but reaching out into the community.