Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mennonite Church USA has announced it is adapting its plans for gatherings for the remainder of 2020: meetings of the Executive Board, the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) and the Racial Ethnic Council, as well as the Women Doing Theology conference. “These unprecedented times require patience and flexibility,” says Joy Sutter, moderator of MC USA. “By meeting virtually, we can better protect the health of our members, while still advancing the important work of the denomination.” The Executive Board, which was slated to meet in Kansas City, Missouri, will meet via Zoom on Sept. 11 and 12. The CLC, which also was slated to meet in Kansas City, will gather via Zoom on Oct. 16 and 17. The CLC is an MC USA advisory group comprised of leaders from the area conferences, agencies and constituency groups that meets at least twice each year to counsel and advise the Executive Board. The Women Doing Theology conference, which was scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will not take place as an in-person gathering in the fall. “We want to prioritize everyone’s safety and well-being,” says Sue Park-Hur, MC USA’s denominational minister for transformative peacemaking. “We hope to hold a series of online events, and we are seeking direction from women in the church about what they need from a virtual gathering at this time.” The conference’s steering committee is inviting feedback through a survey. Deadline to respond is August 28. The Racial Ethnic Council will meet via Zoom in the next two months for its annual meeting. Dates are still pending, says Iris de Leon-Hartshorn, MC USA associate executive director for operations.
This article was originally published by The Mennonite