Church Leaders Launch Stage Two of

MT PLEASANT, PA – Forty-five church leaders from four Mennonite conferences met Dec. 7-8 at Laurelville Mennonite Retreat Center to discuss gift discernment and mentoring in their home congregations. The retreat launched stage two of the “Creating a Culture of Call” initiative of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

The 15 pilot congregations from Franconia, Lancaster, Ohio, and Virginia conferences of Mennonite Church USA have committed themselves to identifying and calling persons to ministry, including pastoral ministry, over the next three years.

Resource person Wendy Miller, assistant professor of spiritual formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, addressed the gathering on spiritual discernment and mentoring, using Jesus from the Gospel of Mark as a model. Each conference then held two sessions to discuss strategies for calling and mentoring pastors in the ministry. Participants also heard the story of congregational discernment and calling of Karl Steffy, pastor of East Petersburg Mennonite Church, Lancaster Conference.

Miller encouraged pastors and church leaders to reflect on their calling to ministry and think about who mentored them. She asked them to consider where pastors come from and to reflect on what kind of mentor they are.

Using Paul Versluis