iCLT News: Change is Imminent

March 18, 2024
by June Miller
Director of Administration and Communication

Change is Imminent

Today is a new day. I started my journey with Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) in August of 2020, moving across the country and across borders to make Harrisonburg our new place to call home.  My husband, Chad, accepted a new position at Ridgeway Mennonite. I did not have a job lined up, but reached out to VMC when I arrived.


Back in Alberta, I worked in communications with Mennonite Church Alberta & Mennonite Church Canada during a critical time of organizational change after the adoption of a new structure in 2017. Leaning into the change is like putting a puzzle together. I’m a self-proclaimed dissectologist. We examined the effects on the regional churches and the nationwide body, learning a new way of talking about and understanding who we were in the new reality.


Before Alberta, I  worked at corporate headquarters for Goodyear. After the sale of  a business division, our Human Resources department managed the transition and separation of the division. All employees needed to be rehired under the new company without missing a paycheck. The complex web of systems and processes needed to be separated eventually. Priorities were set to determine which required an immediate transition and which could be done over the next year.


Now here in Virginia, we are facing change, planned and unplanned. The interim Conference Leadership Team will conclude their two-year assignment on August 31st. Also, a number of congregations will be departing this summer to join Lancaster Mennonite Conference. (More info will be available once processed through Conference Council.) From my experience, change takes intentionality and requires overlap.


The iCLT is refocusing VMC back to our mission, “Called to Equip.” How do we realign to fulfill that mission? Does our organizational structure support it?  What is working towards our mission? What is working against our mission? Where are the gaps? Where are the redundancies ? How does the change affect our current realities? These questions are just the beginning approach to intentionality.


The second thing I learned is that successful change requires overlap. We can be very detailed in understanding who we are (point A) and who we will be (point B). But how do you get from A to B? A caterpillar turns into a butterfly, but only after a cocooning process. How will we transition from iCLT to the next iteration of leadership (interim or permanent)? Craig Maven has been appointed by Conference Council to chair the search committee.


Change is imminent. Refocusing on mission is essential. VMC only exists to serve the congregations. How do we live into that reality?


Will you help us refocus by answering the following two questions?

1) How is your congregation flourishing?

2) What vision or hope do you have for your congregation?  


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