Executive Board Criteria
For application of Article III, 3.b of the Mennonite Church USA Bylaws and
Membership Guidelines, Part II, No. 12.
1. A congregation is required to follow a process of discernment with their conference of origin before another conference may formally consider their application for membership.
- a. Normally this process will require several meetings of the congregation’s leaders with leaders of the conference they wish to leave (at least three meetings is suggested).
- b. With their application for membership in the new conference the congregation will present a joint congregation/conference of origin statement to the receiving conference which states
- i. Reasons why the congregation wants to change area conference affiliation
- ii. When the congregation/conference of origin meetings were held, with a summary of the discussion of the meetings
- iii. How or if this affects any other matters in the conference of origin
- iv. The matters that have been resolved in the congregation/ conference of origin relationship along with those that may remain unresolved
2. In the event that a conference has taken disciplinary action that separates a congregation, and that congregation subsequently applies to another conference for membership, the conference to which the congregation applies for membership is required to follow a process of discernment with the congregation’s conference of origin.
The conference to which the congregation is making application for membership will initiate several meetings with the conference of origin to discuss the congregation’s dismissal, and their application for membership into the receiving conference.
- a. The conference of origin will supply the conference to which the congregation is making application, a written statement of reasons why and how they separated the congregation.
- b. The receiving conference will supply a statement to the conference of origin explaining why, and on what time frame; they are considering accepting the congregation into membership.
3. Both conferences will notify the Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA when either of these processes begins and will supply copies of the statements named above. The executive director reserves the right of counsel throughout the process, but will respect the polity of Mennonite Church USA that rests final discretion of membership of congregations with area conferences (Bylaw Article IV, 2.a).
Adopted by Mennonite Church USA Executive Board, June 26, 2004