June 11, 2014

Selecting Delegates for WDC Annual Assembly

 One of the last times I was at the Western District Conferences offices in North Newton, I asked how preparations were proceeding for the upcoming annual assembly in Waxahachie, TX. Among other responses it was noted that various congregations were still seeking to identify delegates (“scurrying” was one of the technical terms used, as I recall… or was it “scrambling”?). Upon hearing how Zion has dealt with the issue, I was encouraged to describe the process.

Some of the parameters are determined by the constitution of our particular congregation, which stipulates that delegates (to both Western District Conference and Mennonite Church USA assemblies) be voted on at a congregational meeting; I recognize that not all congregations have that requirement. Nevertheless, it encourages us—almost forces us—to plan ahead. We try to solicit volunteers and/or our Gifts Discernment Committee identifies potential delegates for area conference and denominational assemblies already during the autumn prior to the summer in which the assemblies occur. Such delegates are then affirmed in a vote at one of our winter congregational meetings (either in December or January).

There are several advantages to such a process:

• it eliminates the aforementioned last minute scurrying;
• potential delegates may consider the prospect of delegate service more leisurely;
• if travel is involved, this potentially can be coordinated easier with vacation or other visitation planning;
• folks who know they are going to be delegates naturally pay more attention to news releases, resolutions, etc., pertaining to an upcoming assembly;
• other congregation members with perspectives about agenda at the assemblies are able to have conversation with delegates in a more measured manner;
• the delegates are well able to meet with each other (if they choose) prior to the assembly to discuss any agenda, resolutions, etc.;
• the congregation is able to pray for the delegates by name as they prepare to represent the congregation at the assembly.

I recommend such a process to other congregations.

     –submitted by Ray Reimer, Co-Pastor (316-799-2071; zionelbing@gmail.com)

          Zion Mennonite Church, Elbing, KS

WDC SEEDS is a weekly communication for WDC churches announcing what’s new and good in Western District Conference. Please forward this to congregational members.  Pastors are invited to submit one paragraph summaries of kingdom initiatives that will encourage the networking of best practices across Western District Conference. WDC Seeds is also available at:  www.mennowdc.org.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

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