At a Mennonite Church Canada Special Assembly held October 13-15, 2017, delegates from member congregations and area churches approved a new covenant and structure for the nationwide church. Click here to download the ASSEMBLED NEWS, a complete report on the recent assembly, and to view videos from each of the sessions.
(The following is an October 18, 2017 news release from Mennonite Church Canada)
Majority vote favours re-structuring of nationwide church
Winnipeg, Man. — Delegates voted 94% in favour of restructuring most of Mennonite Church Canada’s programs and ministries at a Special Assembly in Winnipeg held from Oct. 13-15.
In the future, Regional Churches will share the responsibility of nationwide agenda. Congregations will now channel funding for nationwide priorities through their regional churches, which will forward agreed upon amounts to Mennonite Church Canada.
The favourable vote means that congregations will no longer be members of a national body, but will speak to national agenda and programming through their membership in Regional Church bodies at regular regional gatherings.
The new structures make room for periodic national study conferences with direct congregational involvement. A new Joint Council replaces the General Board. It will be comprised of Regional Church moderators and other representatives appointed by Regional Churches. A Covenant and Operating Agreement among the five Regional Churches was signed on Sunday, Oct. 15.
In addition, a proposal for Mennonite Church Canada’s international ministry program was affirmed in principle by delegates. The proposal shifts to a blended model of funding. This model will include some form of relational funding – where congregations and individuals pledge to financially support a ministry or worker, with workers participating directly in fundraising. All workers will be fully funded until June, 2018. Work will begin immediately to help transition Witness work/ministries towards the relational funding model.
Mennonite Church Canada will continue to staff Indigenous Relations, International Witness, Finance, Pension and Benefits. Partnership funding agreements are also in place to support in part the activities of CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre, and The Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives.
Mennonite Church Canada is made up of 5 Regional Churches with over 33,000 baptized members and 225 congregations.