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  • Discovering the root of my fear – Mennonite Church USA
    angry and also made me scared scared that someday I would face the same reality my ancestors did Somewhere in my young years I became convinced I wouldn t live to be old In college I double majored in American Indian Studies and Psychology I learned in depth about the issues affecting Native Americans in the United States When I graduated college I would soon be employed by Mennonite Central Committee Central States and be able to work on the issues that simultaneously made me sad and gave me life energy I get to work on educating constituency on the Doctrine of Discovery the foundation of the violence against Indigenous people I have formed valuable relationships with Indigenous women from around the world through the U N Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Through MCC I discovered the Violence Against Women Act VAWA and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls MMIWG in Canada I delved into learning more about the violence being done to Indigenous women in the U S and Canada and found the root of my fear a fear shared among Indigenous women Prior to VAWA Native American women could be abused by non Native men on the reservation and there was no court in which the perpetrator could be held accountable Statistically it is estimated that 80 percent of the abuse done to Native women is done by non Native men In Canada a 2014 report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found 1 200 documented cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls between 1980 and 2012 As I learned of the violence being done to Indigenous women in the U S and Canada I realized this violence is rooted in colonialism patriarchy white supremacy and capitalism All Indigenous people know a grandmother mother sister aunt daughter or child that has gone missing from our families and communities I offer a link to click to read what we know of some of the women who have gone missing and or who were murdered I offer a reminder that this is not only happening in Canada it is happening in the United States and to Indigenous women globally I also offer the words of Lisa Brunner survivor and executive director of Sacred Spirits First Nations Coalition as a reminder of the reality Indigenous women live with on a daily basis We as Native women are faced with our own mortality every day from the sexual assaults stalking domestic violence human trafficking and murder the rates of violence against us far exceed all other groups in this country My final offering is a prayer tool to join with others prayers and for healing to abound Share this Facebook Twitter Email Posted in Menno Snapshots Women in Leadership Tagged Doctrine of Discovery Erica Littlewo Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Violence Against Women Act Women in Leadership Project Post navigation Enviados 2016 Un encuentro de menonitas que plantan comunidades centradas en Jesús Hope for the Future Questions and concerns

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/discovering-the-root-of-my-fear/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Hope for the Future: What does inaction reveal about us? – Mennonite Church USA
    together and discover connection to me was an obvious reminder that I did not belong For many years following the transition from Canada to the U S as I attended Bethany Christian High School and later Goshen College I learned to navigate the youth conventions potlucks hymn sings and relief sales I learned the theology of peace and value of community and eventually married a Mennonite woman I can now play the Mennonite game a little more easily but more importantly I have forged my own Mennonite identity separate of but respectful to the rich ethnic heritage of my Swiss German compatriots Like many transitions and transformations there was a lot of doubt questioning and pain before I could find a way forward After just a few interactions at Hope for the Future I began to see similar strands in others stories as we weaved together an elaborate tapestry of the experience of people of color within the church Every attendee had frustrations fears and some even outright fury at the role that the body of Christ has played in the history of the U S During one presentation by MCC Anti Oppression Coordinator Ewuare Osayande I was disgusted to learn the details of the church s blatant oppressive and dehumanizing role that set the stage for the next half century of systematic racism both in secular institutions and the church itself The Mennonite Church I have known has not been a body of faith that intentionally seeks to subjugate or disenfranchise people of color On the contrary I believe that significant strides have been made in identifying and beginning to dismantle the oppressive structures and attitudes that have dominated the history of our country Hope for the Future has itself become a means to understand and address the vestiges of a morally corrupt system The Mennonite church has a role to play in our larger culture as well as tackling the remnants of the destructive attitudes and expectations the Church has historically espoused Much of the conference was focused on race analysis and history of race relations in the Mennonite Church As we neared the conclusion of the conference we as a group attempted to come up with some proposals for tangible strategies policies and best practices that could be implemented across Mennonite agencies and institutions A part of this discussion my working group proposed the development of an internal or inter agency department to be tasked with the oversight and management of intercultural competency development and anti racism practices in Mennonite organizations This department would encompass addressing intercultural issues in hiring job descriptions professional development and performance reviews Clearly it is no small task to generate a department where none has existed There are very real concerns regarding how to implement this and in particular how to do so in consideration of finite resources I do not at all mean to minimize this reality Let us also examine however how our distribution of resources reflects our priorities as

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/hope-for-the-future-what-does-inaction-reveal-about-us/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Menno Snapshots – Mennonite Church USA
    and initially served to create space for mutual support among people of color in Mennonite Church USA institutions and agencies In recent years Posted in Intercultural Transformation Menno Snapshots Tagged Colleen Brockington Hope for the Future 2016 Leave a comment Discovering the root of my fear Posted on February 11 2016 Erica Littlewolf is from the Northern Cheyenne tribe of southeastern Montana and currently lives in Kansas She works for Mennonite Central Committee Central States with the Indigenous Visioning Circle where she is committed to the work of decolonization authentic relationship and healing She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and American Indian Studies and Posted in Menno Snapshots Women in Leadership Tagged Doctrine of Discovery Erica Littlewo Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Violence Against Women Act Women in Leadership Project 1 Comment Hope for the Future What does inaction reveal about us Posted on February 10 2016 This is the second in a blog series from participants in Hope for the Future HFF a gathering of people of color serving in leadership positions across Mennonite Church USA HFF gatherings began in 2011 and initially served to create space for mutual support among people of color in Mennonite Church USA institutions and agencies In recent years Posted in Intercultural Transformation Menno Snapshots Tagged Hope for the Future MLK Rafael Barahona Leave a comment Hope for the Future Angst and expectation together Posted on February 8 2016 This is the first in a blog series from participants in Hope for the Future HFF a gathering of people of color serving in leadership positions across Mennonite Church USA HFF gatherings began in 2011 and initially served to create space for mutual support among people of color in Mennonite Church USA institutions and agencies In recent Posted in Intercultural Transformation Menno Snapshots Tagged Everence Hope for the Future 2016 Madalyn Metzger 1 Comment Orlando then and now Posted on February 5 2016 Scott Hartman is Convention Planning coordinator for Mennonite Church USA This post first appeared on Mennonite Church USA s convention blog In the summer of 2017 the Mennonite Church USA convention will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida It will be 20 years since the last time Mennonites held a convention in Posted in Convention News Menno Snapshots Tagged Orlando 2017 Scott Hartman Leave a comment Commemorating the Reformation Posted on January 28 2016 Andre Gingerich Stoner is the director of Holistic Witness for Mennonite Church USA In early December I had a chance to spend several days at an annual ecumenical officers retreat with counterparts from about a dozen denominations The Evangelical Church in America ELCA United Methodists a Black Baptist denomination Catholics Moravian Brethren and others participated Posted in Interchurch Relations Menno Snapshots Tagged André Gingerich Stoner Caritas Catholic Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lutheran World Federation Lutheran World Federation Dept of World Service the Reformation Leave a comment Positive steps for creating a culture of giving in your church Posted on

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/category/menno-snapshots/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Executive Board holds second meeting of biennium – Mennonite Church USA
    for the event could be relevant and appealing to people of color The EB received these anti racism priorities with appreciation and approved them unanimously MEA review The EB conducts a review of each agency on a rotating basis this time it was Mennonite Education Agency s turn The board decided to take a deeper dive than it has in the past appointing a small liaison committee of EB members Joy Sutter of East Norriton Pennsylvania Yvonne Diaz of Terlingua Texas and Phil Rich of Archbold Ohio to facilitate the process Carlos Romero CEO of MEA and Judy Miller MEA board chair presented the report on MEA s work identifying priorities and key challenges Mennonite Church USA Executive Board members at their February 2016 meeting near Chicago left to right Nisha Springer Zenobia Sowell Bianchi Larry Hauder Yvonne Diaz Samuel Voth Schrag Joy Sutter Shelley Buller EB staff Photo by Janie Beck Kreider The board expressed affirmation for MEA s thorough report and asked questions about external tensions arising from major societal shifts in higher education as well as internal tensions related to MEA s broad range of work coupled with shrinking financial resources and limited staff time Despite the effects of the changing landscape of higher education MEA leaders remain hopeful and passionate about what the agency has to offer We need a new way of thinking about our Mennonite educational institutions said Romero We want the church to embrace our colleges and seminaries as the center of mission and outreach for the denomination We have a message to share that has value and that we think the world needs IRRC becomes Racial Ethnic Council The board unanimously approved a request from the Intercultural Relations Reference Council IRRC to change its name to Racial Ethnic Council The IRRC was formed for the particular task of overseeing the Office of Intercultural Relations which no longer exists IRRC members requested a different name because the scope of their work has broadened and the reference group title no longer applies Leslie Francisco EB member and new moderator the Racial Ethnic Council presented a proposal to change the designation of Racial Ethnic constituency groups in the denomination The proposal states The Racial Ethnic Council formerly known as IRRC reviewed the history of the merger of the church in 2001 and their placement as a constituency group along with Mennonite Women and Mennonite Men The Racial Ethnic Council members believe this placement diminishes their history and struggle within Mennonite Church USA before the merger and to this date Both Mennonite Men and Mennonite Women do not share the common history of Racial Ethnic people in the Church The action would require a vote by the delegate body since it would be a change to the denominational bylaws EB members will continue to discuss the specific changes at their next meeting in preparation for the Orlando Delegate Assembly Considering spaces for dialogue The EB voted against a petition requesting that the Brethren Mennonite Council for

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/executive-board-holds-second-meeting-of-biennium/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Youth Ministry Council: The Gathering 2016 explores youth ministry through Anabaptist lens – Mennonite Church USA
    Kansas College facilitated discussions exploring the distinctives of Anabaptist youth ministry Katie Dyck youth sponsor at Rainbow Mennonite Church Kansas City Kansas and Renee Reimer youth program director at Rainbow at Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 held Jan 29 Feb 1 in Orlando Florida I think it s good every once in a while to revisit what we do in our approach to ministry that is distinctively Anabaptist says Gerber Anabaptism informs our faith and therefore our ministry but too often those values are implicit understood or assumed This weekend we hoped to make our implicit Anabaptist values explicit becoming more aware of how they influence our ministry with youth and young adults Joining with campus pastors This was the first year that the Youth Ministry Council coincided with the annual gathering of Mennonite campus pastors of colleges universities and seminaries It was great to connect with the broader YMC to see other friends and colleagues from around the church said Bob Yoder campus pastor at Goshen Indiana College The campus pastors met with YMC The Gathering participants for part of the time but also participated separate breakout groups geared toward their ministry Annual meeting renamed This year was also a transitional year for the title of this annual meeting of youth workers from across the denomination The creation of The Gathering Place website in July 2015 provided youth workers a space for virtual networking and support In the same vein The Gathering will offer real life real time space for those involved in faith formation work For people already familiar with Youth Ministry Council we called it YMC The Gathering 2016 says Gerber Next year it ll simply be The Gathering 2017 Youth Ministry Leadership Team transitions At the close of the meetings Mennonite Church USA s Youth Ministry Leadership Team which supports the denominational minister for youth and young adults and sets the vision for youth faith formation across the denomination announced the following transitions in leadership Concluding their three year terms of service Michele Hershberger representative for Mennonite Education Agency Hesston College Cedric Roth youth minister for Franklin Mennonite Conference Kim Litwiller associate conference minister for Illinois Mennonite Conference is beginning a three year term of service on the team Continuing team members John Stoltzfus youth minister for Franconia Mennonite and Eastern District conferences Olivia Bartel representative for Mennonite Camping Association Lesley and Caleb McClendon assistant pastors of youth at Calvary Community Church Hampton Virginia Andrea Wall co pastor at Bethesda Mennonite Church Henderson Nebraska Danilo Sanchez representative for MCC U S and youth pastor for Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Images available Participants at Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 held Jan 29 Feb 1 in Orlando Florida Katie Dyck youth sponsor at Rainbow Mennonite Church Kansas City Kansas and Renee Reimer youth program director at Rainbow at Youth Ministry Council The Gathering 2016 held Jan 29 Feb 1 in Orlando Florida Share this Facebook Twitter Email Posted in News Tagged Anabaptist Bob Yoder campus pastors Lindsay

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/youth-ministry-council-the-gathering-2016-explores-youth-ministry-through-anabaptist-lens/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Executive director reappointed for third three-year term – Mennonite Church USA
    work with the Purposeful Plan which continues to give focus to the mission vision of Mennonite Church USA Many respondents noted that while the past two years have brought turbulent times to our church Ervin has brought a deep faith a humble spirit and patience in a context of much ambiguity Faced with what one person called an impossible task Ervin has given steady leadership in stressful times There was affirmation for his extensive travels across the country as he engaged in conversation with delegates and conference leaders in preparation for the Kansas City 2015 delegate sessions Others commented that he has assembled a strong highly motivated national staff and has done impressive work with fund raising Persons see Ervin as bringing great spiritual depth an optimistic spirit and winsome pastoral presence to his work as well as a deep faith in the Holy Spirit s leading of the church He combines strong executive skills with a willingness to engage co workers in a collaborative and consultative way During his third term Ervin will continue to work with his team on the 2015 17 goals in the Purposeful Plan reviewed with delegates at the Kansas City Assembly These goals reflect the seven priorities of Mennonite Church USA Christian Formation Christian Community Holistic Christian Witness Leadership Development Undoing Racism and Advancing Intercultural Transformation and Church to Church Relationships He will also work with the board to update the whole Purposeful Plan for significant discussion by the delegates at Orlando 2017 In addition Ervin will give leadership to a renewed emphasis on planting new churches and revitalizing existing congregations in our denomination as we turn our faces toward the future into which God is leading us He is also leading the board and staff together with leaders of our churchwide agencies through long term planning for our denomination Moderator Patricia Shelly of Newton Kansas stated It is clear from this work review of Ervin Stutzman that there is widespread appreciation for Ervin s strong executive and pastoral leadership at a very difficult and rapidly changing time in the life of our denomination There was a ringing endorsement for his continued leadership of Mennonite Church USA and affirmation for a third term as executive director The board was unanimous in appointing Ervin to a third three year term as executive director beginning Jan 1 2016 We invite your continued prayers for Ervin as he begins this third term and your prayers for the national staff team and the Executive Board as we continue to lead the whole church in seeking to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ Share this Facebook Twitter Email Posted in News Tagged delegate assembly Ervin R Stutzman Ervin Stutzman Executive Board executive director Patricia Shelly Purposeful Plan reappointment Post navigation Sent 2016 A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus centered communities Orlando then and now Official comments policy for users of Mennonite Church USA s websites and other social networking tools We reserve the right to remove any comment that

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/executive-director-reappointed-for-third-three-year-term/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Sent 2016: A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus-centered communities – Mennonite Church USA
    Being with other church planters who share these similar values and passions is like finding your long lost family According to planners sharing stories prayers wisdom and encouragement across generations to pursue our calling as sent ones will be an integral part of the gathering Participants will reflect on Anabaptist Mennonite church planting experiences both successes and failings explore concrete ways to work together more strategically across the church and launch a national church planting network for ongoing learning and collaboration Speakers will include Bishop Leslie Francisco of Calvary Community Church in Hampton Virginia James Krabill of Mennonite Mission Network Elkhart Indiana and Sara Wenger Shenk president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary AMBS in Elkhart Workshop facilitators include among others still in process David Boshart executive conference minister for Central Plains Mennonite Conference Kalona Iowa Hyun Hur co director of ReconciliAsian in Los Angeles Sarah Jackson of Casa de Paz in Aurora Colorado Alan Kreider Elkhart author and professor emeritus of church history and mission at AMBS Marvin Lorenzana new initiatives coordinator for Mennonite Mission Network Byron Pellecer church planter and pastor of Iglesia Menonita Aposento Alto in Wichita Kansas and Jason Rissler church planter at LifeBridge North in Strasburg Ohio The event is open to people who are testing a call to church planting as well as church planters pastors missiologists and conference leaders Planners welcome dreamers risk takers and testifiers those in small churches and in large churches who want to connect at a deeper level with their neighbors Spanish translation will be provided Event sponsors Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Church USA have committed funds to the gathering to help keep registration costs down Thanks to a grant from the Schowalter Foundation hotel rooms will be half price and travel scholarships are available The registration fee is 60 includes meals a shared hotel room costs 80 person per night Learn more or register online Mennonite Church USA staff See also Dreamers risk takers and testifiers plan Sent 2016 by André Gingerich Stoner director of holistic witness for Mennonite Church USA Image available Sent 2016 image Share this Facebook Twitter Email Posted in Church Planting Holistic Witness News Tagged Alan Kreider André Gingerich Stoner Bishop Leslie Francisco Byron Pellecer church planters church planting David Boshart Hyun Hur Iglesia Amor Viviente James Krabill Jason Rissler Josias Hansen Marvin Lorenzana Mauricio Chenlo Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Mission Network New Orleans Sara Wenger Shenk Sarah Jackson Schowalter Foundation Sent 2016 A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus centered communities Post navigation Hope gathering to offer specific plan for Racial Ethnic change Executive director reappointed for third three year term Official comments policy for users of Mennonite Church USA s websites and other social networking tools We reserve the right to remove any comment that violates this policy The purpose of comments is to engage in constructive dialogue Please provide your own full name Be respectful If you re offering criticism focus on others ideas not their motives person character or faith Consider

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/sent-2016-a-gathering-of-mennonites-planting-jesus-centered-communities/ (2016-02-16)
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  • ‘Hope’ gathering to offer specific plan for Racial/Ethnic change – Mennonite Church USA
    the list of policy solutions that received collective affirmation were All boards leadership discernment committees and hiring teams should be diverse New hires and current staff should receive ongoing anti racism and intercultural competence training Intercultural competency should be written into employee evaluations Churchwide internships paid or academic credit should be established and funded for Asian Black Latino and Native American college students The idea of an ethnic studies curriculum at Mennonite educational institutions should be explored HFF planning committee members will refine the entire list of recommendations including others not mentioned here and will present to institutional leaders This is where we wanted to go said Iris de Léon Hartshorn director for transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA and a HFF planning committee member This is an adaptive group We re not going to stay stagnant This is the work that has led up to finally having some outcomes to recommend policies and strategies to our institutions We re doing this work for the next generation Human Resource Leaders Network HFF is sponsored by Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Education Agency Mennonite Mission Network Everence and Mennonite Central Committee Celina Romero standing of The Mennonite shares with Ewuare Osayande of Mennonite Central Committee and Mim Shirk of MHS as they participate in a work group Photo by Carol Roth The 2015 gathering invited college students for the first time and focused on how to identify who has power in an organization or given situation It also featured a town hall style human resources panel that had a lively question and answer discussion Rachel Stoltzfus senior executive for Human Resources at Mission Network and Eunice Culp vice president of Human Resources for Everence were among those on that eye opening panel It was the first HFF gathering for both of them Culp said she came this year expecting to explore details on how to move from where we are and how to go further I think we got some really good things written down this time around Culp said Racial diversity is a high priority for us as an organization Networking has been really helpful because getting to know people is really important Culp said that she and her fellow human resource leaders across the church have since been intentionally maintaining contact and sharing information They are planning to meet in April to discuss best practices and improvements such as sharing a database of diverse contacts she said Tapping into congregations that are predominantly people of color is a key solution said Glen Alexander Guyton chief operating officer for Mennonite Church USA Guyton was a minister at C3 for 17 years before being hired by Mennonite Church USA in 2009 and moving to San Antonio Texas The Mennonite Church system can be quite complex to navigate said Guyton adding that he came home to C3 eager to make connections with people of color at the gathering to utilize in his work You need mentors to introduce you to the right people

    Original URL path: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/mennonite-hope-gathering-to-offer-specific-plan-for-racialethnic-change/ (2016-02-16)
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