Notes to Pastors

Conference Board Communications Update
January 25, 2010

The Conference Board met in retreat and addressed the following agenda items:

Dwelling in the Word – Seeking to continue the practice of gathering around the word, the Board proposed various scripture for consideration as the text to dwell with for 2010.

Envisioning 2010 – The board talked about the changing context we are living in. Questions that we wrestled with included how to tend to leaders and churches along the 113 corridor in ways that empower a missional vision. As part of this envisioning, the board engaged with staff to hear more details of the ministries, challenges and fruit that is occurring.

Financial budget – With the changing economy, significant cuts had to be made to the budget. 2010 will be a year of ongoing discernment and potentially significant changes in the way the conference is organized and configured. The board wishes to extend deep gratitude to all the congregations, individuals, related ministries and partners who gave generously not only of their finances, but their time, energy and talents as well. Thank you. The board approved a budget for FYE January 2011.

Other items:
• The board tabled for another time the agenda item: Clarifying Living Hope Farm and Conference Board Involvement.

Finally, the Board wishes to communicate the following statement:

As anxiety and discussion continues to stir both in the Mennonite media and locally, we as a conference board thought it may be helpful to communicate the following statement. While it is not an ongoing practice to communicate in this way, the board offers the following:

• We affirm our commitment to the Mennonite Confession of Faith as well as the statements on sexuality.
• We will continue to follow the polity of Mennonite Church USA for credentialing persons for ministry.
• The results of the November 19, 2009 pastors and leaders breakfast regarding the Resolution to Follow Christ growing out of Columbus 2009, was that the majority of pastors and leaders in Franconia Conference are supportive of our current Confession of Faith.
• We are waiting for further resources from Mennonite Church USA and call upon all to wait until further resources are made available to healthily address ongoing conversations and processes.
• We encourage all to be humble and focus attention on following Jesus.
• We pray our churches, Conference Related Ministries, and Partners in Missions will stay focused on the missional journey of inviting others to follow Jesus.
• We have communicated this vision with staff and expect them to be aligned with it.

The above was discussed and passed at the board meeting on January 25, 2010.

Blaine Detwiler

Noel Santiago
Executive Minister