Registration opens for March 2017 Health and Education Leaders Gathering

(MHS/Mennonite Education Agency) — Registration opens today for the Mennonite Health Assembly and Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) Education Leaders Gathering (ELG), which will take place March 9-12, 2017, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The theme, “Beyond Buried Treasure: Turning Hidden Resources into Assets,” draws on Matthew 13:44: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

“The committee selected the theme to focus on the rich resources of talent and creativity that exist among us,” MiBeyond Buried Treasurem Shirk, senior vice president of MHS, said after the theme was chosen. “We want to help institutions and organizations, large and small, consider new solutions by finding and cultivating the assets they already have.”

Keynote speakers for the event, announced earlier this month, include: Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman, who recently accepted the position of president of Eastern Mennonite University; Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, executive director of the Ministers Council of American Baptist Churches, USA; and Dr. Drew Hart, author and professor of theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. 

The Thursday-to-Sunday conference will also feature a variety of workshops, with topics such as financial planning, crisis communication, Anabaptist identity, diversity, institutional transitions, fundraising, social media, branding, wellness, Title IX, mentoring and more.

This will be the second joint conference for Mennonite Health Assembly and MEA. The first was held in Orlando in 2013. The gathering is designed to bring together education and health care professionals for collaborative learning and visioning, and to strengthen leadership for agencies and institutions, with a particular emphasis on board member development.

Carlos Romero, executive director of MEA, said he was “excited for the generative possibilities of this conference,” strengthening the foundation of Anabaptist/Mennonite institutions for good stewardship, best practices and ways to extend mission and service.

For more information about the 2017 joint conference, visit, or go directly to the registration site.

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—Mennonite Church USA/MEA staff