By Terry Shue
The Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA sees its task of leading the church as a process of listening to the Spirit and to the people of the church while discerning a way forward. One of the ways they have decided to listen is through a survey that was sent out to the active and retired credentialed leaders in our database.
Many of you have already filled out the survey. In fact, to date we have over 900 persons who have done this. Thank you! This information will give the Executive Board a clearer picture about the three areas the survey engaged. These areas are:
- the involvement and connection the local congregation has with the area conference and the denomination.
- the preferred structural balance of authority between congregation/area conference/denomination.
- the inclusion of GLBT persons in the church.
There has been extremely high interest in this survey which is causing a high response rate (nearly 50% already) which we hope to further increase. The cutoff date is September 8. We also are aware that a number of persons have been frustrated by not receiving a survey when they presently have an active or retired credential held by their area conference and are known to be in our national data base.
Information in the data base, which is called MennoData, contains the personal information of the pastor as well as their Ministerial Leadership Inventory (MLI) forms. We are sorry for the frustration which this has caused. This database is held by our national office where the pastor has access to their personal information with editorial rights and responsibilities. Unfortunately as many as 500 persons did not have an active email address listed or any email address listed and thus they were not included.
With several thousand persons in this database, there is no way the national office can keep this personal information current through the various changes in a person’s life, email addresses in particular. This database also feeds the live online directory which is accessible from our Mennonite Church USA’s website and is only as accurate as the data which is placed and maintained by the individuals themselves.
It is my encouragement to you to check out the information you have in your profile page and assure that it is up-to-date and accurate. Thanks for helping to keep our records and information as useful and accurate as possible.
If you have questions about how to access your profile in MennoData, please contact Beth Hunsberger at firstname.lastname@example.org she will give you the information you need. Please contact Shelley Buller at ShelleyB@MennnnoniteUSA.org if you are an active or retired credentialed pastor and did not receive a survey.