Mark your 2018 calendar. The U.S. Mennonite Brethren biennial gathering will be held July 24-28, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Pastors’ Conference is scheduled for July 24-26, with the National Convention slated for July 26-28.
Both events will focus on the theme “Celebrating our unity and diversity.” The theme verse is I Corinthians 12:27: “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
“We have a lot of diversity,” says Don Morris, USMB national director, “and we can learn from one another and enjoy what diversity brings—fresh ideas, perspectives and rich relationships. I personally hope and pray that our pastors—lead as well as associate—and ministry leaders will make it a priority to join us in Salt Lake City for this time of fellowship, learning and relaxing.”
Convention speakers will come from across the USMB family. Speakers are:
- Eric Nelson, pastor at South Mountain Community Church Lehi (Utah) Campus;
- Boris Borisov, church plant pastor at Pacific Keep Church, Spokane, Washington;
- Winnie Bartel, church leader from Shafter (California) MB Church, and USMB representative to the National Association of Evangelicals;
- Brent Warkentin, lead pastor at First MB Church, Wichita, Kansas, and MB Mission board chair;
- David Yirdaw, church plant pastor at Avenue Church, a new daughter church of Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Aurora, Colorado;
- Terry Hunt, lead pastor at The Life Center, Lenoir, North Carolina, and North Carolina district minister;
- Aaron Hernandez, lead pastor at Grace Point Grulla and Grace Point McAllen churches, La Grulla and McAllen, Texas, and LAMB district minister; and
- Don Morris, USMB national director.
In an effort to reduce lodging and meal expenses for delegates, the convention will be held at the University Guest House and Conference Center, a hotel-like facility with all the amenities located on the University of Utah campus which is next to the foothills of east Salt Lake City and Salt Lake Valley. The campus hosted the Olympic Village and the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Olympic cauldron, which held the Olympic Flame throughout the games, was also on the campus and can be seen on the drive to the Guest House.
While USMB congregations are encouraged to send their full contingent of delegates to the National Convention, the Pastors’ Conference is an event planned for pastoral staff members and spouses.
“The Pastors’ Conference is a time for our MB pastors to connect with one another, renew friendships and create new ones,” says Morris. “We plan to provide time for rejuvenation, interaction and sharing, along with getting ministry input from various presenters from our MB family.”
Registration forms will be mailed to churches in February. The online registration will be available by Feb. 1.
For more information, visit www.usmb.org/celebrating-our-diversity-and-unity.
Janae Rempel is the Christian Leader associate editor. She joined the CL staff in September 2017 with six years of experience as a professional journalist. Rempel is an award-winning writer, having received three 2016 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence and an Evangelical Press Association Higher Goals award in 2022. Rempel graduated from Tabor College in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in Communications/Journalism and Biblical/Religious Studies. She attends Hillsboro MB Church.