KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board revised the denomination’s policy for bringing resolutions to the national delegate assembly during a meeting Jan. 17-18.
The revised guidelines will extend the lead time for submitting resolutions from six months to eight months ahead of the delegate assembly, which will meet next in July 2021 in Cincinnati.
In addition, “last-minute” submissions now will require 40 delegate signatures from four conferences. The previous policy required 30 signatures from three conferences.
“These changes will allow more time for churchwide discernment and greater opportunity for strong denominational support of resolutions,” said Joy Sutter, moderator.
Linda Dibble, moderator-elect, presented proposed revisions to Executive Board policies, most notably adapting the board’s media policy to reflect the transition of The Mennonite from a denominational medium to an external news agency, pending its merger with Mennonite World Review in September.
The Executive Board also spent time discussing the report from the Membership Guidelines Advisory Group. The report outlined several nonbinding recommendations and process ideas for continuing the churchwide discussion on the Membership Guidelines, including a recommendation to retire the Membership Guidelines, which had strong support across the ideological spectrum of participants.
“The Executive Board deeply appreciates and respects the work of the Membership Guidelines Advisory Group, and we are committed to continuing our ongoing discernment regarding the Membership Guidelines,” Sutter said.
As a next step, the Constituency Leaders Council will provide feedback to the Executive Board after engaging the report during the CLC’s meeting March 26-28 in Kansas City, Mo.
In his report, executive director Glen Guyton presented highlights of 2019, including:
— Total 2019 year-end giving to the Executive Board was up by $20,000, an increase of 47 percent, with a 19 percent increase in participation compared to 2018.
— The total convention deficit was only $9,283, significantly lower than the $112,000 loss initially calculated.
— Three new staff members were added in communications and the archives.
— A new website is in development
— The denomination’s new weekly e-newsletter, PeaceMail, has been well received.
— Archives is giving voice to young people through its oral history project.
— Women in Leadership met in October and is planning two events for 2020.
— Church Vitality updated the Ministerial Leadership Inquiry forms, offered a webinar series to equip congregational leaders with tools for thought leadership and co-sponsored a learning tour for the CLC on immigration justice in Tucson, Ariz.