MC USA leaders look at convention participationBy Chris Rahe Mennonite Church USA
HALIFAX, Pa. — At the fall meeting of Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council Oct. 24-26 at Camp Hebron, leaders from across the United States gathered to reflect on the denomination’s recent convention and look forward to the next one.
The theme of the meeting was “Discovering Our True Citizenship,” with a focus on Eph. 2:14-22, one of the four theme passages for the Phoenix 2013 convention.
This meeting was the CLC’s first in the 2011-13 biennium.
The CLC, an advisory group chaired by the denomination’s moderator-elect, Elizabeth Soto Albrecht of Lancaster, consists of about 80 leaders from area conferences, churchwide agencies and constituency groups.
CLC members meet face-to-face twice a year to worship, share information, build relationships and work toward consensus on issues of current and mutual importance.
Currently serving as vice chair is Tom Kauffman of Ohio Conference.
Participants reflected on this summer’s biennial convention in Pittsburgh, reviewing the anti-racism audit of the convention as well as the “Pittsburgh Experiment” — an approach used for the delegate assembly that focused on discerning a plan for the denomination for the next biennium rather than adopting resolutions.
They also discussed ways to expand the number of congregations that send delegates to conventions.
Scott Hackman, social networking consultant, and Harry Jarrett Jr., pastor at Neffsville Mennonite Church, presented their ideas on how MC USA can expand the use of social media to allow people who can’t attend conventions to feel more connected and participate from a distance. Jarrett helped lead a “digital delegate” online tool for the Pittsburgh assembly; more than 300 people logged in from off site.
Looking ahead to the Phoenix convention, CLC members considered what the church’s public witness should look like in that city given the controversy surrounding Arizona’s anti-immigration laws.
Plans for a denomination-wide “Year of the Bible” study program also were discussed.
Comment on the article MC USA leaders look at convention participation
Please keep comments civil. MWR editors reserve the right to remove any comment. When posting a comment, you agree to the MWR Comments Policy. Name and comment will be posted; commenters are strongly encouraged to give their full name. Email address is for follow-up only and will not be made public.