By David Mishler, Conference Minister
Volume 4 – March 2018
#1 – Naming this Newsletter/Blog
We have a winner! With the five options for naming our new newsletter presented to our delegates (and anyone who wanted to weigh in), the overwhelming choice, with over 66% of all votes cast, was “Miscellany from Allegheny”. In an executive decision twist to this enormously important process, an undisclosed person suggested on their ballot a simplification of the name by reversing the word order. The executive decision is to accept this suggestion, using David Garber’s original proposal, and thus – Allegheny Miscellany. If the unnamed suggestor of the reversal makes themselves known, credit will be given. And the same prize will be awarded which David Garber received by unanimous consent – a free year’s subscription to Allegheny Miscellany. Congratulations and thank you to everyone for your heart-felt participation.
#2 – Faith and Life Gathering – March 3, 2018
Some 67 delegates and guests met for our Spring Faith and Life Gathering at Stahl Mennonite Church (Johnstown, PA). Significant engagement ensued throughout our six-hour meeting as we heard stories of faithful discipleship from two of our congregations (Stahl and Crossroads). We listened and made decisions around our future life together as a MC USA conference, including adoption of a 2018-19 spending plan, feedback for our Affiliation Task Force members as they converse with Central District Conference, selection of members to our nominating committee and Leadership Council, and updates/simplification for our bylaws around regional structures and membership pathways.
Our worship was led by the Stahl congregation – Wangerin and Seuss (Ragman and Oh, The Places You’ll Go!) and music led by Service Adventure leaders, Krista and Leah Rittenhouse. We indeed had a great time of worship, fellowship, counsel and discernment under the guidance of the Spirit of Christ. It was good to be together.
At the urging of our pastors, a plan for healing and journeying forward with the Hyattsville congregation is underway and will be part of our August Celebration of Congregations and Conference at Laurelville, August 3-5. Get that into your calendar and plan for a fruitful time together, reaching for healing and hope and covenant commitments.
Welcome to Leah Lumeya (University) and Paul Lehman (Crossroads) to the Nominating Committee, and Karrie Peterson (Hyattsville) and Lester Lind (Philippi) to Leadership Council.
With regards to our Spending Plan, the delegates made a request to provide ideas for congregations to financially support the conference in this important year of decision, beyond original commitments which were incorporated into a budget. We are seeking to get to a zero-balance budget (no more relying on reserves), so Erin (treasurer) and Dave (conference minister) are preparing a letter which will provide ideas and clarifications around the budget decisions we made. The letter should be in your hands within the week.
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