I am one of the newest MLT members. As a member of Fairhaven Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne, I have been church treasurer for many years and in recent years, have been a conference delegate. At the 2018 annual session, I responded to a felt calling to become more involved in conference in the area of finances. Within a few months I was invited to join the Stewardship Team and shortly thereafter to become conference treasurer and a member of the Missional Leadership Team.  With a business degree and as owner of my own IT and computer services business, I have learned the value of monitoring and managing the financials of an organization and hope to contribute in this way to conference.

At our January MLT meeting, we were attentive to the financial challenges the conference faces with declining donations as well as acknowledging there are also resources that were set aside for future needs or projects. Some of the donations were earmarked for special interests such as pastor development or church planting. There are still available funds to support local church projects through the Capital Grant Fund. In the coming months there will be a taskforce looking at the current investments and seeing if there are ways to increase the returns on those investments.  The MLT, along with the Stewardship Team, is working to be wise stewards of the financial resources that are available.

I feel energized by the ways MLT is choosing to study and address issues of cultural competency and biases with the support and direction of Consultant Nekeisha Alexis.  At a time when the demographics of our conference are changing and are not completely understood, it will take effort to analyze our makeup and determine how this will impact our future life together as Indiana Michigan Conference. Part of my contribution is looking for ways we can utilize technology to analyze the data we will be collecting.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the MLT.  This is an inspiring, thoughtful and gracious group of Jesus followers that seek to be faithful in all aspects of its calling.

Duane Yoder

IMMC Treasurer