This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Task force prepares for leaders to discuss Mountain States action

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 The task force has committed to reading each email or message but will not plan to respond directly to each one.

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