Four priorities may expand to sevenby Anna Groff
Delegates at Pittsburgh 2011 will decide on whether or not to expand and update the current churchwide priorities for the next decade.
The current four priorities include: holistic witness, antiracism, leadership development and global connections. These four were adopted in 2001.
The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board drafted the new list of seven priorities at their meeting in Portland, Ore., in April 14-16. The EB indicated the first three are always top priorities and that the next four priorities are for the next few years.
The new list includes the following priorities:
1. Christian formation
2. Christian community
3. Holistic Christian witness
5. Leadership development
6. Intercultural transformation
7. Church-to-church relationships
According to the document dated April 25, each priority will have subheadings beneath it that further describe the priority.
Under the priorities are tangible goals to implement. For example, under Christian Formation is the following goal: “Designate a ‘Year of the Bible,’ providing resources to enable every congregation to increase its biblical awareness and faithfulness. We might want to make a list of “core scriptures” which we own as a people.”
According to the document: “The goals identified under each of these priorities invite us to work shoulder-to-shoulder in the various levels of community across Mennonite Church USA.”
The EB’s discussion in Portland focused extensively on the “antiracism” priority and settled on the term “Intercultural Transformation.” The subheadings under that term in the working document include: anti-racism (dismantling individual and systemic racism); intercultural competence; healing racial divisions; and envisioning Revelation 7:9.
These priorities are part of executive director Ervin Stutzman’s Purposeful Plan to update the 2001-2011 organizational strategy document adopted at Nashville 2001.
If individual delegates wish to give feedback to this plan, they may send an email to Ervin R. Stutzman, Executive Director, at ErvinS@MennoniteUSA.org or send responses by post to Mennonite Church USA, 1251 Virginia Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA, 22802.
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