Denominational ministry team organizes
Mission Network, Executive Leadership collaborate to help congregations.by Mennonite Church USA
Churches need help finding pastors and resources to enrich congregational life. Some districts and area conferences want help with church planting, intercultural relations and other initiatives. Mennonite Mission Network and Executive Leadership have created a new way to provide these ministries.
Mennonite Church USA's denominational ministers include (from left): Glen Guyton, Lee Lever, Nancy Kauffmann, Glenn Balzer, Hugo Saucedo, Linford King, Susan Mark Landis and Mauricio Chenlo. Not pictured: Kuaying Teng, Shelley Buller, Deb Ratzlaff. Photo by Joel Kauffmann.
This new model for denominational ministry, initiated last fall, has broadened and integrated leadership within Mennonite Church USA. Along with continuing to resource and coach area conferences in a variety of ways, the new Denominational Ministry Team now includes the areas of church planting, urban ministries, intercultural relations, and peace and justice.
The team will provide a more holistic approach for equipping church leaders for ministry. In the future the team may expand to include ministries of other agencies.
Denominational ministers will continue to serve Mennonite Church USA's calling system, which assists conference ministers in bringing together pastors and congregations. What's new to the Denominational Ministry Team is a theme of diversity. The team is initiating new ways to bring existing racial/ethnic groups, including Asian ministries, as well as peace and justice ministries, into the center of the denomination. The work and leaders of the Denominational Ministry Team include the following:
Denominational ministers: Lee Lever, Moundridge, Kan., provides overall leadership for the Denominational Ministry Team and is one of three denominational ministers. He also works with the Youth Ministry Leadership Team and with ministerial issues such as salary guidelines, ministerial polity and misconduct issues.
Nancy Kauffmann, Goshen, Ind., serves as a denominational minister, manages the call system for Mennonite Church USA, nurtures area conference ministers and serves as staff for the denomination’s Leadership Discernment Committee.
Linford King, Lancaster, Pa., serves half-time as a denominational minister. He oversees the Ministry Inquiry Program, connects to the Mennonite Camping Association and the Anabaptist Disabilities Network and is a resource person for the Institute for Anabaptist Leaders.
Intercultural relations ministries: Glen Alexander Guyton, Yorktown, Va., denominational minister for intercultural relations, relates to the three constituency groups for intercultural relations: African-American Mennonite Association, Iglesia Menonita Hispana and Native Mennonite Ministries. Guyton facilitates communication among and between racial/ethnic people and others and ensures the constituency groups have equal access and opportunity.
Kuaying Teng, St. Catharines, Ont., is denominational minister of Asian ministries. He builds relationships among and resources Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Indonesian, Lao, Korean, Indian and Vietnamese Mennonite churches.
Church planting ministries: Mauricio Chenlo, Raleigh, N.C., denominational minister for church planting, relates to area conferences and leaders in initiating new churches. He is leading a church planting research project that will help the denomination collaborate strategically on church planting and leadership development.
Peace and justice ministries: Susan Mark Landis, Orrville, Ohio, serves as denominational minister for peace and justice. She consults with congregations, area conferences, racial/ethnic associations and staff to develop and enhance the peace and justice witness of Mennonite Church USA within a missional church.
Urban ministries: Hugo Saucedo and Glenn Balzer have begun work to lead an urban ministry study project for 2010. Saucedo, of San Antonio, Texas, is Mennonite Voluntary Service director. Balzer, of Denver, is national director for Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection.
Administrative support: Shelley Buller and Deb Ratzlaff work out of the Newton, Kan., offices of Mennonite Church USA. As executive assistant for the Denominational Ministry Team, Buller coordinates meeting plans, prepares reports and takes minutes. Ratzlaff, administrative assistant, provides support for Lever, Kauffmann, and King and more.
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