The USMB Leadership Board is very pleased to announce that we have an agreeable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USMB, MB Mission and C2C Network (a division of MB Mission in the U.S.) to serve USMB church planting in the United States. The MOU is intended to clarify how various entities will engage together for effective and cohesive Mennonite Brethren church planting in the U.S.
Several MB leaders met in Phoenix, Arizona on Jan. 5–6, 2017. Those present represented MB Mission, USMB, C2C church planting network and several pastors who have a strong interest in providing leadership for USMB church planting moving forward.
The C2C Leadership Team, which includes Don Morris, will provide vision for C2C in the U.S. as the network begins working in the U.S., all under the organizational structure and mission of MB Mission. District church planting boards/committees will provide supervision of all MB church plant projects within their district.
Scott Thomas, C2C U.S. national director, and Gord Fleming, C2C national director, will work closely with the USMB districts and church planters. Thomas says, “I am so honored to work with Don and the district ministers, of whom I already have strong regard. I can’t wait to see the fruit this collaboration will produce. Young couples will plant more churches. Hope will arise for churches desiring to replant. Existing churches will be inspired to invest in new missional opportunities and prayer will dominate our lives.”
Randy Friesen, MB Mission executive director, says, “We’ve always been a missional people, and we bring together mission local, national and global. In this way, we will have more opportunities to live this ‘one mission’ vision that God has given us. I’m excited about the resources, vision and experience that C2C network brings to church planting and church multiplication and what that will mean for our MB family in the U.S. and beyond.”
Marv Schellenberg, USMB Leadership Board chair, says, “This is a great opportunity to enhance our ability to further our main core commitments of church planting, developing leaders and disciple-making.”
Be watching for more information pertaining to this agreement and about MB church planting initiatives in the U.S.
—USMB press release
Updated Feb. 18, 2017: “in the U.S.” added.
First, I was surprised the information about this MOU came via a USMB news release. As of this date (2/10/17), I have seen nothing about it on the C2C or CCMBC websites. Is this a done deal? Has EB signed off on it?
Secondly, C2C is described as “a division of MB Mission.” Has the Task Force exploring various options and levels of partnership between C2C and MB Mission issued their final report? Was full merger with MB Mission the preferred option? Has the EB signed off on this? Finalizing the transfer of fiduciary responsibility from CCMBC to MB Mission would likely take some formal action on the convention floor. Will this be on the agenda of the 2017 AGM?
Thirdly – and perhaps this is the most crucial issue – C2C represents the mission and church planting focus that has characterized Canadian MB churches ever since the first Canadian MB church was planted in Winkler, MB. C2C continues to provide much of the “missional glue” that binds Canadian churches together as a conference. If C2C is handed off to a 3rd party – even if it is a partner agency – what will be the impact on our identity and missional cohesion as a conference? How has the EB assessed the risks and rewards?
The full transfer of C2C to MB Mission may indeed be the best option. However, clarity on authorities (who can decide what) and processes (how things are decided) are crucial. Otherwise I fear we may find ourselves in a mess of calls on procedure at the AGM.
I assume further information will be coming to the provincial assemblies this spring. Unfortunately, most members cannot be in attendance at these events. A broader conversation may be warranted.
In the meantime, any information or clarification from EB would be welcome.
John, please note that the wording comes from the US in the context of their situation. For more recent news from CCMBC, see here: https://mbherald.com/mission-minded-board-increases-collaboration/.
It is puzzling that the US announcement was published on January 25, a day before the CCMBC Executive Board even met to discuss it (January 26-28).
Nonetheless, thank you for this.