What does it mean to be rooted or grounded? Every healthy community is grounded by their story, inherited and experienced. Being rooted, on the other hand, means something different. Roots are safe, secure, and provide nourishment to a plant. However, roots can also bind us to one place, and left unattended, can stop growth.
I joined the Missional Leadership Team just a few months ago. While I have been connected to IMMC my entire life, I am learning much about leadership and the congregations who make up the conference. The IMMC narrative, while grounded in a rich history, has continued to change and grow. Our calling as a conference and congregations is to tend and amend the soil of our community together.
Here are three ways the MLT has been tending and amending the soil:
- We celebrate the ministry of Conference Pastor, Dan Miller, and prepare for a future Co-Conference pastor ministry. We are grounded by a long legacy of men and women who have supported, challenged, and served with us in conference ministry roles. Now we stand at the threshold of a new and exciting model of co-conference pastoral leadership. We have been defining and clarifying these positions and we have been praying for God’s Spirit to bring future energy and growth.
- We have continued to explore and engage a vision for Intercultural Competency throughout the Conference. We are grounded by our faith and convictions in the love of God for all humanity, a desire for wholeness in our relationships, and justice in our world. We continue to learn and step into practices that we trust God will use to transform us into a community of vibrant diversity.
- We gathered our congregation’s delegates, and others, by Zoom for two “Regional” Meetings in the month of March. We are grounded by the robust relationships of people of our congregations. The meetings engaged us in worship and conversations. We heard an update from Piedra Viva Mennonite Church, our new congregation from Elkhart, IN. We heard reports of the Conference Pastor search process and received an encouraging report of our finances. We discussed together the possible next steps for our intercultural work. The movement of the Spirit among us is strong and inviting!
We are grounded and we are seeking, by the grace of God, to bear new fruit.
By Steve Slagel, MLT member