By: David Mishler, Conference Minister
Volume 29 - august 2020
#1 – First Ever Virutal Delegate Meeting and Worship Service
The Annual Celebration of Congregations and Conference enjoyed strong attendance from delegates and worshippers the first weekend in August. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, LeAnne Zook, chair of the planning committee and new moderator for the conference, helped shape a virtual worship service for August 2 which saw at least 232 Zoom connections. A delegate meeting, held on August 1, had 13 of 14 congregations represented by over 40 delegates and visitors. Glen Guyton, Executive Director for MC USA, brought an update from the national office, describing the priorities moving within our denomination. An additional workshop for credentialed leaders on Friday saw 14 persons update the required Healthy Boundaries Training, led by MC USA Associate Executive Director for Church Vitality, Michael Danner. Strong year-end financials were reported by Treasurer, Karin Miller. The delegates were apprised of the work of the International Guest House Transition Team, and they weighed in for the first time on developing proposals for disbursement of proceeds from the sale of the IGH property. More information will be coming to the delegates in the form of a motion from the Leadership Council at an upcoming meeting.
A combination of live and recorded pieces helped us to see the “Enough” within the situations we currently find ourselves. Music, readings, scripture and prayers highlighted our shared vision of following Jesus in what we can do in our neighborhoods with what we already have in hand. What are your loaves and fishes? It is enough!
You can listen to an audio version of the delegate meeting and a video version of the worship service using these links: Delegate Meeting on Saturday: (with the password being: #55Y@DT5) https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/6sl8CoDTzVhOabPzsGDdeLI5AaDgaaa82ndNrqEKyhkDAnpp5nl4REYPXWDO1ZeX?startTime=1596290595000
Sunday Worship: https://youtu.be/2DM0-Tp-HH0
#2 – Balanced budget!!!
Following years of adjustments and expense reductions, the financial report for fiscal year ending 6/30/20 shows a positive net income. Given the stressors of the ongoing pandemic, not meeting in person, and questions about the ability of congregants to support local congregations, this support at the conference level seems to show the convergence of several factors. Strong support from congregations, two congregations joining with us in March and supporting the conference financially, reduced expenses because of less travel, and the benefits of the PPP loan proceeds together produced this unforeseen outcome. Amazing gratitude! Giving is a journey
For financials details and graphs showing current year and historical trends, click here: 2020 Financial Update
#3 – Conference Minister bouncing back following hip replacement surgery
David Mishler underwent hip replacement surgery on June 25. With relatively new procedures that reduce invasive practices, I was able to receive therapy at home beginning the second day post-surgery. Graduating from a walker to a cane in a few short weeks, I am now walking without those support devices. Thank you for your prayerful support, cards, emails, text messages and phone calls!
#4 – Pastors/credentialed leaders receive Healthy Boundaries Training
Part of sustaining a ministerial credential with Mennonite Church USA requires periodic, mandated training in understanding and maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships. Michael Danner, Mennonite Church USA Associate Executive Director for Church Vitality, led Allegheny leaders in a four-hour workshop as part of the recent conference meetings weekend. Fourteen leaders fulfilled their training requirements, which in Allegheny must be updated every three years.
Who is Allegheny Mennonite Conference?
We are a group of 14 congregations from
PA, WV, MD, VA and DE who are raising two significant priorities:
to be a conference whose highest priority is to walk in the way of Jesus, the center of our faith,
to be so committed to place-based ministry, ministry in our local neighborhoods, that everything we do flows out of this commitment to offer Jesus’ reconciliation in our home towns.
We value relationships. We commit our delegates to be present at three gatherings each year to share what God is doing in our various places, so that we can celebrate and counsel with one another. Our pastors commit to be engaged regularly in pastor peer gatherings for sharing, education and counsel.
We value diversity. We believe diversity of thought and practice will sharpen one another in extending the reign of God in our neighborhoods.
We value staying at the table. Not imposing our agenda on one another, yet discerning together how God is speaking into the life of our conference and the lives of our congregations, we aspire as adult siblings to honor one another with ongoing conversation, seeking our future together.
Allegheny Mennonite Conference.
Committed to place-based ministry.