South Central Mennonite Conference Affiliation
As we are all aware, there has been increasing tension within our conference with respect to our relationship with MC USA. The Network Leadership Team (NLT) has spent considerable time listening to the concerns, suggestions and recommendations from a broad swath of our conference members. Most recently, everyone was encouraged to attend and participate in Regional Discernment Meetings that were held in four locations throughout the conference in January. As a result of this listening and discernment process it is likely that a resolution to withdraw from MC USA and seek a new affiliation for all of our churches will be proposed at our Summer Assembly in July.
The purpose of this notice is to alert you to that probability and to solicit feedback on the wording of the proposed resolution. A preliminary version is copied below for your review. We encourage pastors to review it with your congregational leaders and provide feedback through your RMC by the end of April, 2023. If your church does not have an RMC, you can reply to this email or feel free to call me, Phil Rosenberger, at 505-236-9219. The final version will be presented near the end of May.
A few things to be aware of as you consider this preliminary resolution:
- Withdrawing from MC USA will not prevent a church from participating in MCC, MMN, MDS, Everence, etc… All of these agencies welcome the participation of non MC USA churches.
- We can still be “Mennonite.” There are numerous other Anabaptist/Mennonite Denominations/Networks/Organization that we could potentially join. Some work has already gone into conversations with some of those groups. If you would like a summary of the information we have gathered, let me know and I can send it to you.
- SCMC Leadership will make a concerted effort to facilitate the transition to a new affiliation by providing information, hosting meetings, arranging consultations, etc.
- Each church will need to decide for themselves which new group to join. We hope and pray that all of our churches make the same decision and we can remain together in that way. But even if some choose a different group to affiliate with, we can still continue to relate to and encourage one another within the context of our association as a conference.
- The proposed resolution would require 2/3’s approval at the summer assembly to be effective.
Below is the Proposed Resolution.
This version is Preliminary and changes may be made before the final version is presented.
Regarding the Affiliation of SCMC with MC USA
to be considered at our 2023 Summer Assembly,
July 21-23 at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper, KS.
After focused listening to the constituency of South Central Mennonite Conference (SCMC) it seems clear that the majority of SCMC congregations no longer find affiliation with Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) to be helpful, desired, or consistent with our core beliefs and practices.
Therefore, the Network Leadership Team (NLT) recommends the following:
- SCMC withdraw from MC USA.
- SCMC will find and opt into another Anabaptist / Mennonite conference, network or organization. SCMC leadership will facilitate this transition by providing resources and assistance beginning immediately and will complete that process by October of 2024.