Financial strains continue for Executive Board
Mennonite Health Services Alliance may become fifth MC USA agency.by Gordon Houser with Anna Groff
The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board (EB) met April 12-13 in Goshen, Ind., and held conversations with the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) and the board of The Mennonite, Inc., on April 13.
Executive director Ervin Stutzman presented his report to the board on April 12, following the outline of the Purposeful Plan, which seeks to support the seven priorities of Mennonite Church USA.
He reported that the austerity measures put in place for EB staff have worked well, but now they face further challenges: The new office building has increased office expenses by $12,000, Mennonite Central Committee’s decision to remove its archives from the Mennonite Church USA’s archives in Goshen will decrease revenue by over $30,000, and health-care and information technology costs are also rising.
Sustaining the current staff and work of EB will require raising funds, said Stutzman.
He also reported on plans for future conventions. After Phoenix 2013, the 2015 convention will be held in Kansas City, Mo. The site for 2017 has yet to be decided. In fall meetings of EB and CLC, Stutzman said, he hopes to look at questions about whether or not to continue a two-year cycle of conventions as well as cost and location factors.
EB invited Rick Stiffney, CEO of Mennonite Health Services Alliance, to address the board on the question of whether or not MHS Alliance should become an agency of Mennonite Church USA. It is now an entity. The board plans to make a recommendation at its fall meeting.
On April 13, EB met with CLC to discuss its role in looking at possible resolutions at least four months ahead of biennial assemblies.
CLC could help shape or even decide whether or not to proceed with a resolution, since it represents all conferences of the church.
They also looked at the relationship between the area conferences and the national conference. Table groups discussed these questions and reported back to EB.
No decisions about these areas will be made before CLC meets in the fall.
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