News & Updates
Pastor & Congregation News
- David Norris, pastor of Spring Valley Mennonite Church near Canton, KS, has begun a sabbatical leave. Mike Hiebert, former pastor at Inman Menn., is serving as interim.
- John Stainbrook has been affirmed by the Crystal Springs Mennonite Church, Harper, KS, in a co-pastor role with Josh Patterson.
- Steve Schmidt, interim lead pastor at Whitestone Mennonite Church, has agreed to stay in that role through December. A Pastor Search Committee continues its active recruitment of a long-term lead pastor.
- Gabriel Pennington, former Associate Pastor at Pleasant View Mennonite Church in Hydro, OK, will be installed as pastor at Southern Hills Mennonite Church (a Western District congregation) in Topeka, KS on September 6
Executive Committee Activity
The conference Executive Committee has met four times since the last newsletter was published, all online, with some sessions including the regional conference ministers. Major agenda discussion includes the following items:
- Made the decision to conduct the Annual Assembly online rather than in person, to include some worship features for Sunday morning that all of our congregations will be encouraged to use. Bethel Mennonite Church, Inman, KS, had offered to host the assembly.
- Continued to refine the proposed organizational structure, which is built around a half-time salaried Network Director and the formation of some supporting commissions staffed by volunteer members. The intention is to present this to delegates for discussion and approval at the Annual Assembly on July 25 (see accompanying article).
- Appointments to the Ministerial Commission and Gifts Discernment Committee were affirmed, along with a Search Committee for the Network Director.
- Appointed a task force to give leadership to a so-called Discovery process of several months to enable pastors and congregational leaders to engage in discernment that will clarify South Central Conference’s ongoing affiliation, currently as a member of Mennonite Church USA.
- Continued to support the new Swahili-language church plant in Wichita, which is being provided some financial contributions as well as an elder support group that meets regularly to assist the pastor and lay leaders.
- Received and distributed to churches the compilation of responses to the proposed changes in the Mennonite Church USA Membership Guidelines.
- Updated the SCC Scholarship available to students at Hesston College enrolled in Bible and Ministry classes, including the college’s new Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning (CALL) program.
- Reviewed the proposed operating budget for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2020 amounting to about $158,000.
- Received regular reports from the Regional Conference Ministers.
- Agreed to arrange for regular online consultations with pastors, to include conference leaders.
- Continued to give attention to sustained relationships with the south Texas churches, many of which have been limited in their ability to meet for worship during the COVID-19 restrictions.
- Planned the delegate session agenda at the Annual Assembly, and reviewed the schedule for two worship services.
- Responded to an invitation to identify one or more names of persons interested in serving on the denominational Mennonite Men leadership team.
The Executive Committee (now called Network Leadership Team) is scheduled to meet next on September 21.Posted on August 20, 2020 in News