Noah Kolb, Pastor of Ministerial Leadership
Nelson Shenk, Ministerial Committee Chair
CBMC members: Nelson Shenk: chair, Marlene Derstine, Carolyn Egli, Mike Meneses, Jerry Musselman, Ray Yoder, Joy Sawatzky; Staff: Noah Kolb
Credentials Committee members: Mike Derstine: chair, Marta Castillo, Larry Moyer, Joy Sawatsky, Nelson Shenk, and Staff: Noah Kolb
We are grateful for all these persons who give many hours and have passion for the Church and the Conference and care deeply about pastoral and chaplain leadership.
Purpose: CBMC is responsible for shaping the overall policies related to the calling, credentialing, training, and disciplining of those persons being credentialed by the Conference. The Ministerial Committee is responsible for approving and granting ministerial credentials in keeping with A Mennonite Polity for Ministerial Leadership and its designations for the status of credentialed leaders. The Ministerial Committee provides counsel to staff on carrying out these procedures related to credentialed leaders. The Credentials Committee interviews and recommends persons for credentialing based on policy developed by the Ministerial Committee. This includes all persons for licenses, ordination and transfers of credentials.
The work of the Ministerial Committee in the past year included the following:
Approval of 2 Licenses for Specific Ministries: Gay Brunt Miller for staff work with Franconia Conference chaplains and Eva Kratz for prison ministry.
Approval of 6 persons for a License toward Ordination: Jenifer Eriksen Morales for conference ministry in pastoral/congregation transitions; Tim Moyer as pastor at Vincent; Tom Albright for outreach ministries for Whitehall; Bob Helverson as associate pastor at Salem; Yunus Perkasa for associate pastor at Nations Worship; and Aldo Siahaan for ministerial leadership at Philadelphia Praise Center.
Approval of 4 transfers of ministerial credentials into the conference: Chris Nickels as pastor at Spring Mount; Mary Nitzsche as associate pastor at Blooming Glen; Wayne Nitzsche as pastor at Perkasie; and Jim Ostlund as associate pastor at Blooming Glen.
Approval of the ordination of John Brodnicki as pastor of Mennonite Bible Fellowship, Morris, Pa. John was ordained in May.
Restored the ministerial credentials of Ben Stutzman.
Terminated the ministerial credentials of Michael Schaadt.
Continue to work at the implications and impact on credentialing processes as oversight patterns shift in the conference system.
Developed guidelines for pastoral terminations and transitions.
Reviewed proposed competencies for credentialed leaders.
Discussed credentialing for Partners In Mission.
Formed a policy on issuing cards for ministerial credentials.
Our major focus this past year has been to maintain some consistency in the credentialing process of ministerial leadership while major shifts occur in how we do our work and relate to congregations and pastors. Our credential policies and practices are significantly shaped by the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) because we are a part of a larger credentialing system and polity. We continue to value that relationship, the identity, and the values and beliefs of the Mennonite Church and continue to be shaped by it. It is our goal to promote and resource a high level of spiritual maturity, integrity and competency in ministerial leadership as we call, place and equip women and men who are committed to Christ and His kingdom. The role of leadership is shifting from a shepherding motif to a more visional and missional focus of “equipping leaders to empower others to embrace God’s mission.” This calls for new ways of understanding leadership whether in the congregation or in related ministries. It also calls for new ways of resourcing and equipping leadership to carry out the mission God has called us to in our communities and beyond. This work is being carried on by the School for Leadership Formation.
The Ministerial Committee is also being challenged in how we credential leaders from across cultures and races, differing Christian experiences and shifting theological understandings. Our task is to call and nurturing leadership from an Anabaptist/Mennonite perspective that can unite us in Christ as a people from every tribe, race and culture, thus bringing to reality the great Kingdom multitude of Revelation 9:7.