With the arrival of Easter we celebrate resurrection life that continues to work its way out in the world God loves.
Wow! March was a full month, with staff constantly coming and going! Greg had his second leg surgery on March 12 therefore was unable to attend either delegate meeting. He returned March 23, has begun physical therapy, and is recovering well. Two weeks post-surgery he reported this knee is progressing better than the other did.
Delegate meetings at Bethel in Ashley, Mich. and at First, Indy brought out about 150 people from 45 congregations. Worship began, ended and wove through the day – thanks to the regional pastors who gave leadership. Stewardship Team gave an update of the financial situation and the draft spending plan for 2015-16. Missional Leadership Team talked about the structure review and coming staffing changes. The PLANT Network brought an update on their work with potential church planters in IN-MI Conference. The Unity and Variance Discernment Group reported on the conference survey and led discussion around tables.
Doug went on north following the Bethel meeting to meet with search committees from several congregations, and to enjoy the glory of the remaining snow and cold. Unfortunately, Dan was sick in the week between meetings, and missed the mid-states conference ministers retreat day.
Greg headed up a project to upgrade our server and email because support for our server software ends this spring. Most of the work has been completed, so Greg and MicroSource tech support are now working out remaining complications.
Mennonite Mission Network board met in Elkhart on March 23, so the board invited Dan Miller, along with Lois Kaufmann, to speak about our conferences. The board was very interested in the various developments in both IN-MI and CDC. Afterward there was a moving celebration of the completion of a bible in the Toba Qom language. Moving pictures were shown of people receiving copies of the Bible in Qom. Former MMN workers in the region read scripture selections for the board and staff.
Laurie Oswald is quickly coming up to speed as editor of the Gospel Evangel, in the ending of the communications coordinator position. Dan and Vanessa will be working with her the most in the next year. Laurie brings broad experience as writer and editor to her work.
Then there was travel to Constituency Leaders Council. Gene Hartman (Emma) and Shannon Dycus (First, Indy) joined Dan to represent IN-MI Conference. (See CLC report in this weLink.)
Conference Program Planning Committee (CPPC) continues planning for June 18-20 Annual Sessions in Indianapolis. Bill Miller began as Annual Sessions Planner, a seasonal part-time staff position. He is working with CPPC, office staff, and local planners in Indianapolis. Bill is a great addition to staff.
Several staff took vacation over spring break, so the office was closed or had very irregular hours the first week of April.
In the month ahead:
- April 13-15 Dan and Doug will be in Lombard, Ill., for Advanced Clergy Clinic with Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. (Now is the time to register for next year!)
- April 20-27 Dan will be on vacation.
- May 11, all conference staff will meet in Goshen for a semi-annual face-to-face retreat. Other than Annual Sessions, this will be our last gathering in the current configuration.
- May 16 Dan will meet with Missional Leadership Team
- Doug will be ordaining Marcella Hershberger at Bonneyville in May 17.
May the resurrection of Jesus sustain and challenge you this month.