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iCLT News: Called to Equip

December 12, 2023
by June Miller
Director of Administration and Communication

“11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” Ephesians 4:11-12

When I was a young adult, I spent 6 years in missions in the U.S. and in Russia. Praying for discernment for next steps and not feeling any clear direction, I was giving some sage advice – go back to the last thing God told you. To me, it makes perfect sense for the conference to do the same – back to our mission – Called to Equip.

During this time, it is important to remember that VMC is not “those people” or even “conference council.” In fact, if you attend a member congregation or participate in an endorsed ministry, you are VMC.

The Denominational Affiliation Work Group (DAWG) submitted a preliminary report to Conference Council’s* November meeting. The report will come to the Delegates on February 3 for discussion and will inform the final report and recommendation at the 2024 Summer Assembly. One of their recommendations is to suspend the bylaws for 2 years. Doing so, forces us to examine who we are in light of our mission.  As Craig said in the previous iCLT Newsletter, “we as the interim Conference Leadership Team believe it is our task to restart Virginia Mennonite Conference’s equipping work. Our goal is to equip leaders to lead Virginia Mennonite Conference congregations into transformative ministry and greater vitality.” Simply put, VMC exists because you exist.

The Message has energizing imagery for Ephesians 4:11-13.

“He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other**, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

That is my prayer – that we move rhythmically and easily with each other . . . fully alive like Christ!


*DAWG webinar, Q & A on their report, on November 27 can be found here.

**Not to be confused with dancing.

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