Spirit, bless our souls with yearning!
Central District Conference
2021 Annual Meeting
The 2021 annual meeting was held June 26, 2021 from 9a-4:30p Eastern Time. The Mennonite Women met at 4:45p for a conversation with Melissa Florer-Bixler about her new book “How to Have an Enemy: Righteous anger & the work of peace.”
*Grand Rapids Mennonite Fellowship was affirmed for membership with a unanimous vote from the delegates.
*Keller Park Church was affirmed for membership with a unanimous vote from delegates.
*Building Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Congregations PowerPoint presentation
The video to this presentation is available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Credence & Co CEO, Senior Consultant
Sermon Title: Who is our neighbor?
Texts: Luke 10:25-37
With over 26 years of experience coaching, mediating, training, facilitating and consulting, Betty is highly regarded as a Conflict, Change and Leadership Specialist. Betty specializes in working with complex challenges, supporting leaders in both workplaces and congregations through custom-designed engagements. Betty’s capacity to care deeply, listen well and provide wise and thoughtful support allows her to help her clients engage in tough, meaningful and important conversations, set directions, and achieve positive organizational change.
Faith Mennonite Church
Adam is a widely published writer of hymn and song texts. His words appear in many recent denominational hymnals. Adam attended Goshen College and majored in music with an emphasis on composition and completed a minor in Bible and religion, graduating in 2002. He began working as a church musician and choir director while still in college. Adam took his first course at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in the fall of 2003, which led to the writing of his initial hymn text. In 2004, Adam was named a Lovelace Scholar by the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada.He serves as Text Editor for Voices Together, and lives in Goshen, Indiana.
Adam wrote the text for our theme song, Holy Spirit, bless us with a yearning.
Katie is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of contexts including Mennonite music, American music, and European opera. She has taught classes on Western music history and world music, and she accompanies Suzuki recitals and school choirs. She leads singing at her church in Columbus, Ohio, and chairs the Intercultural Worship committee for the Voices Together project.
Katie wrote the music for our theme song, Holy Spirit, bless us with a yearning.
Meet our Artists
Faith Mennonite Church
Kay lives in Goshen, IN. where she has been a co-pastor at Faith Mennonite Church for 14 years. She and her husband have three young adult sons. Kay has a Masters of Social Work and finds numerous ways to use these skills in the community. Kay loves being creative whether that is in flower and vegetable gardening or playing with watercolor paints.
The watercolor art piece she created was inspired by this prayer, “Creator God, in your time you created all things and wove into their fabric a yearning for you.” You will find woven into her art the sacred, the feminine, and love for the earth.
Covenant Mennonite Fellowship
Eugene is a former teacher and fashion designer currently building pipe organ facades and making metal sculpture.
He made a liturgical stole titled Handen Verlangen, Dutch for Yearning Hands. The imagery for the stole is based on Dutch engraver Jan Luyken’s etching, Dirk Willems 1685. He used traditional quilt piecing techniques combined with digital printing.
First Mennonite Bluffton
Anita is retirement age but keeps working in her studio because she believes an artist never retires.
Anita used the hymn “Healer of our every ill” in a recent series on dementia. Her exploration of yearning in that context was a profound experience for her. So for this project she decided to revisit the hymn using music symbols.
Rachel Horst Lehman
First Mennonite Urbana
Rachel lives with her husband David, and three sons Levi (4), Ezra (2), & Jonas (2 weeks). She spends most of her time with the boys, and is also a part-time house painter. While Rachel has been an artist/crafter all her life, she chose to preserve it as a hobby and pursued Social Work instead of Art for her degree at Goshen College, Indiana.
Rachel’s project is a textile piece on the theme of Yearning for Social Justice. It is a visual representation of the indigenous groups who tended the land where our CDC West congregations worship today. Her hope is that the piece might inspire us to discover a more complete history of the resources we’ve inherited, live more gently on the land, and start important and difficult conversations with our neighbors about how to honor the native people in our own communities.