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January 13, 2016

Delegate meetings are set for March 5 and 12, with a snow date of March 19. Some adjustments have been made in congregational groupings, so check the website to see whether you will head north to Grand Rapids or south to Kokomo.

December was a short month. Dan and Doug attended area church/conference ministers meeting. It was a different four days of meetings, as we lived into the delegate mandate to imagine outcomes and process for peer reviews, and responded to Executive Board’s request for council on several significant items.                 There was one credentialing service. Emily Hostetler was licensed and installed at Yellow Creek Mennonite. No upcoming services are currently scheduled.

Area Councils have been hearing about “A Framework for Pastoral Growth.” Leadership Enhancement Team is inviting pastors to begin to get acquainted with the process and the six core competencies.

Missional Leadership Team met January 9, continuing conversations about vision for the future. There will be more information on this as delegate meetings get closer.

Mary Mininger represented conference staff at a retirement celebration for Dagne Assefa on January 10. He completed his time as pastor at Shalom, Indianapolis at the end of 2015. We wish him God’s blessing for the transition and the days ahead.

Doug Kaufman began a three-month sabbatical on January 10. He will be studying theology and ecology at the Toronto School of Theology in Ontario as part of pursuing a Masters of Theology. He will be living near his sister’s family. Unfortunately his own family will not be with him. He is excited about this opportunity to learn and grow though he will miss being home. He hopes to have plenty of time to ice skate, with his helmet on. Sharon Yoder is covering in the conference office during Doug’s absence. She will have office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dan will attend the northern Michigan Pastor/Spouse retreat near Petoskey, Michigan later this week, and make some other visits while up there.