The pieces continue to come together as we approach the one-year anniversary of our newly reconciled conference’s naming as “Mosaic Conference.” In this month’s Conference Board meeting, we were back face-to-face in our new office at Dock Academy in Lansdale, PA, with several board members also joining by Zoom.
The last months have been a time of transition for the Board. This was the first board meeting that included Roy Williams of College Hill congregation in Tampa (FL) and Herman Sagastume of Perkiomenville (PA) congregation. Both joined in their respective positions as chairs of the Intercultural and Conference Related Ministries (CRM) Committees that were set up in the reconciliation structure, approved in November 2019 by delegates of both Eastern District and Franconia Conferences. Both of the new committees are fully up and running now with members that represent the breadth of experience, geography, and wisdom of our conference.
Roy Williams, the new chair of the Intercultural Committee, has extensive board and leadership experience within Mennonite Church USA. He brings a sharp attention to issues of finance from his banking background, as well as acuity in asking questions around biblical justice and equity. Roy has been the long-term pastor at College Hill.
Dr. Herman Sagastume comes to the board as selected from the CRM committee. Herman joined the committee because of his role as executive director of Healthy Niños Honduras, a Conference Related Ministry. Herman is a globally-minded leader with deep compassion and insight. The new CRM Committee is moving forward in strengthening connections and understanding with the Conference’s extensive network of diverse ministries.
At the turn of 2021, Merlin Hartman of Franconia congregation ended his board service at the completion of his second term with Franconia Conference and then Mosaic. Hartman brought deep commitments to the church and openness to the Spirit’s work in our life together. His questions and conscientiousness helped keep us moving through the reconciliation process with hope and integrity.
Beny Krisbianto ended his one-year appointment as the Intercultural Committee chairperson after maxing out his board term of service in 2019 with Franconia Conference. Beny’s long work with the Franconia Conference board and then an initial term as Intercultural Committee chair helped extend and establish a foundation for the committee and our Mosaic commitments to intercultural transformation. As an urban and immigrant pastor, Beny was often able to clarify and re-contextualize decisions and movements. His service and commitment has been a gift to our community as we have moved toward a hopeful future.
With the board transitions, we are continuing to live into our Mosaic dreams. We celebrate the development of meaningful relationships across geography, culture, and language. Roy is the first board representative from our Florida congregations. Our board meeting over takeout Chinese food felt like a gathering of familiar friends. We are able to laugh together, to hear both upbeat and difficult reports. Together, we are able to discern the Spirit’s ongoing call as the pieces continue to come together to form our emerging Mosaic reality.