Western District Conference

Executive Board & Commissions

Nomination suggestions for WDC Elected Positions

Do you know someone (must be a member of a WDC congregation) in your congregation or the wider conference who has leadership gifts, skills and perspectives to share in WDC? The WDC Gifts Discernment Committee seeks a diversity of names to consider for potential nominations, and values your suggestions. Please use this form to submit the name of a potential nominee. (Submit one name per form.) Thank you for your help in this discernment process!

Executive Board

The Executive Board is the overall visioning, direction-setting, prioritizing and policy-making board of the Western District Conference.  The Executive Board acts on behalf of the delegates between Delegate Assemblies.  The Executive Board creates structures and organization that employ the spiritual gifts of the conference in its witness to Jesus Christ.

Executive Board Members:

  • (2022) Lois Barrett, Moderator, Mennonite Church of the Servant, Wichita, KS
  • (2022) Delon Martens, Moderator-Elect, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS
  • (2022) June Krehbiel, Secretary, Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
  • (2021) Willmar T. Harder, Buhler Mennonite Church, Buhler, KS
  • (2022) Jim Stucky, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
  • (2022) Lee Lever, Austin Mennonite Church, Austin, TX
  • (2023) Vicki Penner, Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, KS
  • (2023) Lesther Caceros (appointed member), Iglesia Menonita Comunidad de Esperanza, Dallas, TX
  • (2023) Open position as of 6/4/2021

Executive Board Duties:

  • Provide leadership and spiritual oversight in articulating and monitoring the vision and priorities of Western District Conference.
  • Promote communication among WDC leadership persons and groups in specific ways, such as: exchange of minutes, regular reporting to the board, staff presence at commission meetings, regular meetings of the four commission chairpersons and appointing board members to connect with a specific commission.
  • Approve the WDC Policy Manual.  Create new policies as needed and periodically review and update the policies.
  • Appoint a conference minister as the primary administrative officer of WDC.  Guide, assist and support the conference minister in the oversight of the mission, ministries and staff.  With the conference minister, determine desired staffing levels and positions to carry out WDC priorities.
  • Conduct, or provide for a limited annual review of the conference minister and a major review every three to five years.
  • Activate a search committee when the position of conference minister becomes vacant, and act upon the recommendation of such committee for a replacement.
  • Call special meetings of the commissions, Reference Council or the delegate body when pressing needs make such meetings advisable.
  • Facilitate Reference Council meetings by bringing issues to the Reference Council for discussion and counsel.
  • Upon recommendation of the Gifts Discernment Committee, fill vacancies on commissions and committees as they occur between Delegate Assemblies.
  • Nominate candidates for the Gifts Discernment Committee.
  • Act on Task Force applications.
  • Receive an annual budget recommendation from the Stewardship Commission, and after review and modification (if needed), submit the budget to the Delegate Assembly for action.
  • Be responsible for the Delegate Assembly, including the program, the credentials of delegates, resolutions, and recommending the annual budget.
  • Determine the nature and scope of partnership arrangements with other area conferences of Mennonite Church USA and other institutions and agencies.
  • Appoint area conference delegates to MC USA assembly sessions.
  • Appoint there persons to the Constituency Leaders Council (Conference Minister, Conference Moderator and another representative).  The representative is appointed for one term of two years and may be renewed once.

Stewardship Commission

The Stewardship Commission gives oversight to the Western District Conference legal, financial, personnel and property matters and promotes and encourages participation in the ministries of the conference through communication, prayer, volunteerism and financial support with an emphasis on firstfruits giving.

Stewardship Commission Members:

  • (2021) Pauline Buller, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS
  • (2021) Marlan Ratzlaff, First Church of Christian, Moundridge, KS
  • (2022) Darlene Powers, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
  • (2022) Dick Koontz, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
  • (2023) Matt Lehman Wiens, Lorraine Ave. Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS
  • (2023) OPEN POSITION

Stewardship Commission Duties:

  • Encourage and receive donations, fees and bequests of real and personal property on behalf of the Western District Conference.  Insure an orderly process of accounting for and reporting of WDC income, expenditures, accounts and investments.
  • Administer the Revolving Fund, make loans from the fund in accordance with such guidelines as the Stewardship Commission may provide.
  • Lead the process of developing an annual WDC budget and present the budget to the Executive Board for its approval and submission to the Delegate Assembly.
  • Develop and implement fund-raising initiatives and strategies.
  • Appoint a three member Staff Relations Committee (three year staggered terms with a two term limit) to oversee personnel matters and policies in consultation with the conference minister.
  • Oversee the management, maintenance and policies of 2500 Place and other WDC-owned property.  The Stewardship Commission may delegate certain management, maintenance and policy functions to other WDC entities.
  • Promote participation in Western District Conference by communicating the ministries of WDC, developing and maintaining networks of prayer support, connecting with congregations through a network of representatives and area meetings as needed.
  • As directed by the Executive Board, represent WDC in all legal matters as the administrative arm of WDC. Execute all necessary legal documents and insure the safekeeping of important documents, papers and electronic files.

(Contact Western District Conference Treasurer for other church financial information.)

Resource Commission

The Resource Commission empowers Western District Conference congregations as they witness to Jesus Christ in the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition, connect with God’s mission in the world and provide faith formation resources for all ages. The Resource Commission encourages use of the Conference Resource Library and supports and promotes training events for congregations and their leaders.  The Resource Commission has a broad agenda that requires careful allocation of resources and discernment according to WDC priorities.

Resource Commission Members

  • (2021) Derek King, Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
  • (2021) Melissa Atchison, Manhattan Mennonite Church, Manhattan, KS
  • (2022) Stephen Wilcox, First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS
  • (2022) Valerie Klaassen, Grace Hill Mennonite Church, Whitewater, KS
  • (2023) Christina Litwiller, Salina Mennonite Church, Salina, KS
  • (2023) Graciela Tijerina, Iglesia Menonita Casa Betania, Newton, KS

Resource Commission Duties

  • Give leadership to the vision, usage and policies of the Conference Resource Library.
  • Resource congregations or special groups in a variety of ways.
  • Encourage and resource faith formation in congregations
  • Appoint and oversee a Youth Ministry Committee (number and term length to be determined by the Resource Commission) to envision and implement area conference youth ministries which engage congregations in reaching, resourcing, and reviving youth for an everlasting relationship with Christ.
  • Provide resources in the areas of worship, music, evangelism, outreach, peace and justice, ethnic relationships, special needs and other issues affecting congregations and communities.
  • Appoint an Historical Committee (number and term length to be determined by the Resource Commission) to develop 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.

Church Planting Commission

The Church Planting Commission provides leadership and resources for church planting initiatives and fosters relationships with emerging Anabaptist/Mennonite groups.  The Church Planting Commission helps emerging groups and their leaders connect with the congregations, resources, staff, and structure of Western District Conference.

Church Planting Commission Members:

  • (2021) Caleb Yoder, Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS
  • (2021) John Garland, San Antonio Mennonite Church, San Antonio, TX
  • (2022) Alberto Parchmont, Iglesia Menonita Casa del Alfarero, Pasadena, TX
  • (2022) Tim Amor, Beatrice Mennonite Church, Beatrice, NE
  • (2023) Karen Mascho, Joy Mennonite Church, Oklahoma City, OK
  • (2023) Tonya Ramer Wenger, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS

Church Planting Commission Duties:

Seek out and encourage Anabaptist/Mennonite emerging groups such as church plants, fellowships, and churches seeking affiliation with the Mennonite Church.

Encourage existing Western District Conference congregations to be alert to God’s activity in their locations that may signal an emerging group.  Invite congregations to understand that creating new congregations is an essential and natural activity of every healthy church.

  • Offer practical resources to emerging groups.
  • Discover and assess potential church planting leaders.
  • Provide ongoing support, training, coaching and accountability for church planters.
  • Develop effective patterns and appropriate policies for the fruitful development of new churches.
  • Generate and allocate funding for church planting activities.
  • Establish networks of support among emerging groups and connect them with established congregations.
  • Network with Western District church planting staff and resources of Mennonite Church USA.

Essential Procedures for Church Planting

Ministerial Leadership Commission

The Ministerial Leadership Commission helps congregations find and sustain pastoral leadership and serves the unique needs of pastors, youth ministers and church planters through encouragement, support, accountability and credentialing. The Ministerial Leadership Commission resources congregational elders and deacons as part of the ministry team with pastors.

Ministerial Leadership Commission Members

  • (2021) Peter Goerzen, Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
  • (2021) Brad Roth, West Zion Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
  • (2022) Dave Stevens, Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS
  • (2022) Rachel Ringenberg Miller, Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
  • (2023) Rachel Epp Miller, San Antonio Mennonite Church, San Antonio, TX
  • (2023) Todd Schlosser, Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS

Ministerial Leadership Commission Duties

  • Credential by commissioning, licensing and ordaining candidates for ministry.
  • Serve as a consultative body to the conference minister in ministerial placement.
  • Support personal and spiritual growth for pastoral leadership through counsel, personal evaluation, continuing education, and professional assistance.
  • Support a code of ministerial ethics in keeping with  A Shared Understanding of Ministerial Leadership: Polity Manual for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.
  • Function in a consultative role for the resolution of tensions between pastors and congregations.
  • Give attention to ministerial salary issues and assist congregations in developing adequate salary levels for their pastors using MC USA guidelines.
  • Resource ministry teams that include pastors and deacons through workshops, retreats, and other appropriate events.
  • Encourage and promote a congregational and WDC culture of calling persons to leadership in the church.
  • Relate to the Mennonite Church USA Office of Congregational and Ministerial Leadership as needed.