Binational polity manual now available

‘A Shared Understanding of Church Leadership’ termed a ‘working document’

Aug 18, 2014 by

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ELKHART, Ind. — A newly revised polity manual for leadership in Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada has been released as a working document.

mennomedia polity manual coverThe book, A Shared Understanding of Church Leadership: Polity Manual for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, is a joint effort of the two denominations.

It builds upon a previous resource, A Mennonite Polity for Ministerial Leadership, that was written almost 20 years ago prior to the merger of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church that established the new U.S. and Canadian denominations.

The revision seeks to create a common understanding of how leadership is a service to the local congregations, area conferences and wider denominations.

A Shared Understanding of Church Leadership remains a working document until it is affirmed by the delegate body at the MC USA convention in 2015 in Kansas City.

MC Canada’s Christian Formation Council has already approved the manual, and it was taken to the MC Canada Spring Leadership Assembly in 2014.

Denominational ministers Karen Martens Zimmerly of MC Canada and Terry Shue and Nancy Kauffmann of MC USA coordinated the revision process. They listened to pastors, area church and conference ministers and other current and former church leaders for input.

Feedback helped shape the final product, which is based on ministry experiences.

Updates include a revised ethics section, clarification on managing credentials, best practices for resigned or retired pastors and clarification of the work and relationships among area conferences.

It is available at the MennoMedia store,, or by calling 800-245-7894 (U.S.) or 800-631-6535 (Canada).

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