Congregational Life Commission
The duties of Virginia Mennonite Conference’s Congregational Life Commission:
- Listen to and understand congregations and their needs, issues and solutions.
- Connect congregations to Conference and appropriate organizations to congregations.
- Resource congregations on issues related to worship, peace advocacy, phases of life and other topics as they are identified.
James Musser, Chair
Edith Shenk Kuhns, Secretary
Gloria Lehman, Mennonite Women
Clyde G. Kratz, VMC Executive Conference Minister
Open, Peace Committee
Skip Tobin, VMMissions USA Ministries Director
Congregational Life Commission 2017 Report
The Congregational Life Commission provides resources to congregations and serves as a liaison between several ministries that are represented on the commission such as Mennonite Women of Virginia, Mennonite Men of Virginia, the Peace Committee, and Virginia Mennonite Missions. In years past, this also included representation by the Conference Youth Minister and the Congregational Resource Center, which are no longer part of the Conference program.
This year, the commission planned a one-day seminar to provide resources for pastors and lay leaders in our local congregations, entitled “Celebrating Congregational Life.” Held on April 22 at Eastern Mennonite School, Art McPhee served as the keynote speaker on The Missional Church: Missional Living and Community Weaving with Acts 2:43-47 as his text. Two worship times were led by Sherah-Leigh Gerber. Additionally, 12 workshops were offered on relevant topics for leaders in our congregations. Approximately 60 people attended. Responses from the event suggest that it was a valuable day and that similar events should be offered in the future.
Planning workshops, in keeping with the theme for Conference Assembly, is another responsibility of this commission.
Mennonite Women of Virginia has been very active this year under the leadership of Sylvia Yoder and other members of the Executive Committee. They sponsored an annual fall retreat, a spring Missions Day, and an annual prayer breakfast in conjunction with Conference Assembly.
Mennonite Men of Virginia has been inactive since the resignation of its leader several years ago. The commission wishes to review this and determine whether or not an attempt should be made to revitalize it.
Our Conference has been without a Conference Youth Minister for several years. There has been some networking between several youth pastors in the conference. The commission wishes to review this and determine if we should organize some type of youth ministry for VMC, such as a youth council which could provide resources for those in leadership positions in our congregations with responsibilities for youth and a venue for networking among themselves.