Approves capital campaign pending partners’ agreement
HARRISONBURG, Va. (Mennonite Mission Network) – Mennonite Mission Network’s Board of Directors Monday expressed readiness to move forward on a capital campaign toward a new Elkhart, Ind., office building, and a commitment to work with Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Board to provide information so that plans can proceed in a timely manner.
Meeting at Mennonite Media offices in Harrisonburg, Va., Mission Network board members affirmed the work of Advancement Associates Inc. in determining the feasibility of such a campaign.
“This [building project] will be a great symbol of the united church for the global church,” said board member Tesfatsion Dalellew of Blossom Hill Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa.
Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Board, a partner with the Mission Network on the proposed campaign, earlier decided to collect additional information before supporting plans to build a new regional office facility.
Mission Network board members expressed appreciation for the research that has already been completed and pledged their commitment to work with Executive Board in providing responses to concerns that remain to be addressed.
Sharon Waltner, Executive Board moderator-elect, and Ron Byler, Mennonite Church USA associate executive director, attended the Harrisonburg meeting on behalf of the full Executive Board. Peter Graber, senior executive for advancement with Mennonite Mission Network and capital campaign manager for the project, said: “The participation of the Executive Board representatives was a very positive part of the meeting. I was pleased to see the healthy, positive interaction [among] board members. It seems like we’re on track to reach a good decision together.”
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to construct a facility adjacent to the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary campus that would replace the current offices of Executive Board and Mission Network staff in Elkhart. Mennonite Church USA currently leases space in an 83-year-old office building in downtown Elkhart. The current building has not been renovated since 1974 and, given current infrastructure issues, future occupancy is uncertain.
The new building would not replace Mennonite Media offices in Harrisonburg or the Great Plains office in Newton, Kan., which also serve the staff of Executive Leadership, Mission Network, Mennonite Publishing Network and others.