ELKHART, Ind. — The Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA has appointed a task force to frame questions for discussion at the March 20-22 Constituency Leaders Council meeting in North Newton, Kan., in response to the decision of Mountain States Mennonite Conference to license a pastor in a committed same-sex relationship.
The board decided to create the task force during its Feb. 13-15 meeting in Harrisonburg, Va.
According to moderator-elect Patricia Shelly, chair of the task force, the group has a mandate of “framing and facilitating the CLC discussion so that the CLC can give counsel and a recommendation to the Executive Board.”
After receiving the CLC’s counsel, the task force will compile the feedback and bring it to the board’s June 26-28 meeting in Chicago.
“This is not a task force that will explore the broader implications of this important issue of the church, nor ‘speak of its own accord,’ ” Shelly said.
In addition to Shelly, the task force consists of members of the Executive Board and CLC:
- David Boshart, board member, Wellman, Iowa; executive conference minister for Central Plains Mennonite Conference;
- David Maldonado, CLC member, Fort Myers, Fla.; moderator, Iglesia Menonita Hispana (Hispanic Mennonite Church);
- Donna Mast, CLC member, Scottdale, Pa.; executive conference minister for Allegheny Mennonite Conference; and
- Gene Miller, CLC member, Wellsville, N.Y.; executive conference minister for New York Mennonite Conference.
The CLC, which meets twice a year, is the primary forum for conversation among area conferences within MC USA. Each area conference is invited to send up to three representatives, one of which must be a conference minister.
In addition, constituency groups — which include the African-American Mennonite Association; the African, Belizean and Caribbean Mennonite Missions Association; Iglesia Menonita Hispana; Mennonite Men; Mennonite Women USA and Native Mennonite Ministries — are each invited to send two representatives. Asian Mennonite Ministries and the Indonesian Mennonite Association each send one representative.
Input may be sent to the task force at email@example.com. The task force has committed to reading each email or message but will not plan to respond directly to each one.