Committees & Task Forces

COMMITTEES

Executive Committee

This committee shall consist of the three elected officers plus the conference minister ex officio.  It shall meet as needed to transact such business and offer counsel as may be required for the orderly and timely conduct of WDC agenda.  The Executive Committee shall make decisions concerning projects and assignments authorized by the Executive Board, but in all cases these will be reported to the full Executive Board at its next meeting.

Members: 

  • (2018) Anita Kehr, Moderator, First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
  • (2018) Ray Reimer, Moderator-Elect, Zion Mennonite Church, Elbing, KS
  • (2018) Allen Jantz, Secretary, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS

Gifts Discernment Committee

Six members shall be elected by the Delegate Assembly.  The Executive Board shall nominate persons for election to the committee.  Two committee members shall be elected each year at the annual Delegate Assembly.  The Gifts Discernment Committee shall nominate no fewer than one or more than two persons for each elective office to be filled.  Nominations, elections and appointments should be made with sensitivity and balance with regard to the makeup of the conference.  The Gifts Discernment Committee shall present the slate of nominees at the Delegate Assembly.

Members:

  • (2018) Jane McNair, Houston Mennonite Church, Houston, TX
  • (2018) Ryan Koch, Peace Mennonite Church, Dallas, TX
  • (2019) Roberta Harms, Grace Hill Mennonite Church, Whitewater, KS
  • (2019) Susan Jantzen, First Mennonite Church, Hillsboro, KS
  • (2020) Wayne Albrecht, Peace Mennonite Church, Dallas, TX
  • (2020) Vicki Penner, Peace Mennonite Church, Lawrence, KS

Gifts Discernment Committee – Password Protected Content

Historical Committee

Develops policies about items of historical and cultural interest including the collection, preservation, and availability of official records and materials pertaining to the Western District Conference and its congregations via a relationship with Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College as the official depository of this material.

Members:

  • Roger Juhnke, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS

Staff Relations Committee

Oversees personnel matters and policies in consultation with the conference minister.

Members:

  • (2019) Emily Voran, Houston (TX) Mennonite Church (Stewardship Commission liaison)
  • (2018) Sondra Bandy Koontz, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
  • (2019) Jill Schlabach, New Creation Fellowship Church, Newton, KS
  • (2020) Delon Martens, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS

Staff Relations Committee – Password Protected Content

Youth Ministry Committee

Envisions and implements area conference youth ministries which engage congregations in reaching, resourcing, and reviving youth for an everlasting relationship with Christ.

Members:

  • Isaac Landis, Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS
  • Clayton Gladdish, Hesston Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS

TASK FORCES

In response to special needs or interests, task forces may be created through an application process (Task Force Application) for the purpose of performing special duties and assignments.  Applications for the creation of a task force shall be processed initially by a commission before being forwarded to the Executive Board for action.  Funding for a task force is the responsibility of the commission to which the task force is accountable.  The Executive Board may also create task forces by the application process.  Task force assignments expire after three years unless renewed by the Executive Board.

 

End Death Penalty Task Force 

Purpose:  To work for the end of the death penalty in Kansas.

Members:

  • Stan Bohn
  • Duane Friesen
  • Peter Goerzen
  • Tim Huber
  • Jim Juhnke
  • Jeff Koller
  • John Tyson

3/18/15:  House Bill 2129 would end the death penalty in Kansas. For information about supporting House Bill 2129, check out the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty at www.ksabolition.org. The first step for HB 2129 will be a hearing in a House Committee. Mennonite churches around the state are organizing letter writing drives, writing letters to the editor of their local papers, and contacting their state legislators in support of HB 2129. Now is the time to add your voice!

2/10/15:  Read Pastor Peter Goerzen’s remarks at a News Conference in the capitol rotunda, Topeka, KS.

Pastor Peter Goerzen’s letter to Governor (as published in the “Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty” Fall 2011 Newsletter)

Death Penalty Statement (2009)

Immigration Task Force

Purpose:  To coordinate a network of WDC congregations involved or interested in ministries related to immigrants and refugees.  In order to accomplish this mission, the task force will 1) maintain a database of congregations, including contact information and the nature of the congregations’ interests and involvement related to immigrants/refugees; 2) connect congregations with similar levels and types of interest and involvement for mutual support and resourcing; 3) networking, encouraging, and posting information from and to congregations about legislative developments, conferences, direct actions, speakers etc; and 4) facilitate periodic face-to-face gatherings of immigration/refugee congregations (for example, at Reference Council meetings, WDC Assemblies), and other like-minded organizations in the broader church and in our communities.

Members:

  • Kendra Alison
  • Pat Cameron
  • Ryan Goertzen-Regier
  • Adam Sawyer
  • Karin Kaufman Wall

Websites for Immigration Resources:

Information about immigration:

Resources from Citizens of God’s Kingdom workshop, March 1-2, 2013

Immigration Task Force – Password Protected Content

Israel-Palestine Relations Task Force

Purpose:  To promote educational resources and events related to the conflict in Israel-Palestine conflict with particular focus on peacemaking, to congregations of the Western District Conference (including, but not limited to, resources to understand the resolution which will be presented to MC USA delegates at the Biennial Convention in Orlando in July 2017).  We hope Mennonites in our area will become more involved in peace and justice advocacy work related to the on-going crisis in the Middle East through this task force’s efforts.

Resources:

Mennonite Church USA Resources

  • Resolution:  “Seeking Peace in Israel-Palestine”
  • Summary of the process of how this resolution came to be
  • Endorsements by Church Leaders
  • Listing of further resources for study

MennoPIN – “The Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network” – This volunteer group of Mennonites has extensive resources for study and reflection.

Facebook:  WDC Israel Palestine Task Force – Keep up-to-date on events in our conference that will help resource our delegates and others before the Orlando convention.

Mennonite Central Committee Palestine and Israel – MCC has been working with Israeli and Palestinian partners for so many years, they have deep understandings of the situation theologically, spiritually, politically and economically.

Jewish Voice for Peace

Members:

  • Bob Atchison
  • Jonathan Brenneman (MC USA)
  • Tom Harder
  • Katie Mitchell-Koch
  • Elizabeth Raid
  • Jakob Whitson

Israel-Palestine Relations Task Force – Password Protected Content

Low German Mennonites from Mexico Task Force

Purpose:  To identify the concerns and needs of the Low German Mennonites from Mexico in the area of WDC, especially in Kansas.

Members:

  • Lotti Boschmann
  • Milton Claassen
  • Margaret Goering
  • Lillian Quiring
  • Carola Ratzlaff
  • Lici Roth
  • Harold D. Thieszen
  • Kendra Baldridge (Ex-Officio)

Trustee Task Force

Purpose:  To review loan applications for the Revolving Loan Fund.  To make recommendations as to the acceptance of property or disposal of property.  To evaluate and enter into legal contracts (real property).  To supervise and manage Conference property.

Members:

  • Eric Bruce
  • Rick Krehbiel
  • Gary Rediger

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