Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference Gathers for Annual Sessions 2023
GOSHEN, Indiana – Members of the Indiana–Michigan Mennonite Conference (IMMC) and partnering organizations gathered at Amigo Centre on June 9-10 for worship, fellowship, discernment, and retreat. The gathering consisted of 74 individuals in-person and 5 online, representing 22 of the 37 congregations that currently make up the conference.
The theme for this year’s Annual Sessions was Unity in Love based on Philippians 2:1-5. Cyneatha Millsaps (Mennonite Women USA) and Sharon Yoder (Conference Co-Minister for IMMC) preached on this passage, emphasizing the need for listening and relationship building that promotes unity over uniformity. Workshops featured equipping for congregational treasurers, worship and song leaders, and those exploring the idea of sabbath gardening.
Delegates were called together to discern two proposals brought by the Missional Leadership Team (MLT) of IMMC. In accordance with the removal of the Mennonite Church USA Member Guidelines (Kansas City, May 2023) the MLT were prompted to review IMMC’s policy on credentialing individuals in same-sex relationships. With 90.6% approval, the delegates affirmed the proposal which states that IMMC “…will not deny credentials to someone called to ministry in IMMC because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Congregations continue to be the deciding bodies about their pastoral leadership and thus can, without fear of interference, choose to call or not call as a pastor any person equipped for pastoral leadership as determined by the Credentialing Guidelines and the Ministry Credentialing Team.”
Additionally, with this change to the Renewing a Vision (RaV) document, delegates affirmed the MLT’s proposal to accept the summary version of the Renewing a Vision as the official vision and mission document of IMMC. The removed sections of the document will be lodged elsewhere so that the RaV document can focus on vision and mission only.
The gathering closed with worship and communion, celebrating the good work of God and the gathered body throughout their brief time together at Amigo Centre.