Board & Reports

RI’s Board is made up of nine business and church leaders. They meet four times a year, providing guidance for RI’s operation, programs, personnel, and policy. The board works with administrative staff to shape RI’s vision and provide accountability for fulfilling that vision.

Highlights from the November 2021 board meeting.

Toggle sections below to reveal contents. Names changed for security purposes and last names are not used in some cases.

President’s Report

Joe (President) reviewed August’s Multiply Conference, which happened just after the last board meeting. He wondered whether the newer design and schedule of Multiply will gradually erode the emphasis on missions which has long been a central part of the weekend.  For example, Taste of Missions as had far fewer attendees in recent years compared to several years ago.

A brother from Ethiopia has recently expressed a desire to be officially connected to CMC and RI to aid in his continued work with Ethiopian churches in several US cities, including Columbus. He would like to help these Ethiopian churches become connected to CMC, for mutual benefit. This development has raised the question of establishing a team of coaches/church planters who could work among a variety of people groups in North American cities.  RI could work more closely with other international partners who are doing similar work. These possibilities are being discussed with CMC.

Locally, the RI staff and interns who are building relationships in the Shepard community surrounding the RIC have seen positive developments over the past months. One intern has committed to remain in Columbus and continue developing this outreach. The hope is that others will join him.

Church Planting Catalyst Report

Joe then drew attention to the Church Planting Catalyst Report. CMC, RI, and RBC remain unified in purpose and vision to mature and multiply disciples both locally and globally. In October, Joe and Jerry (VP of Finances) attended the third Mature and Multiply Summit in Grantsville, MD along with Brian and Darren of CMC. They emphasized the importance of the local church, and encouraged congregational leaders to listen to Jesus regarding steps to increase their effectiveness in ministry. Local church leaders stated their intention to mentor emerging leaders, increase community outreach, and renew their focus on discipleship.

Asia Regional Director’s Report

Tom (Asia Regional Director) reported that Thailand has begun to drastically loosen COVID-19 restrictions. This change allows him to teach in person and continue the relationships he began last year. He has been staying in touch with the teams in South Asia and Southeast Asia through messaging and phone calls. They are doing well, and continue to find ways to do their work despite some restrictions.

South Asia is slowly loosening restrictions and the team has been able to restart some of their activities. In Southeast Asia, the team distributed bags of rice and other staples to families who have been affected by the lockdown. They are also exploring the possibility of expanding their ministry to students by starting a hostel.

Mediterranean Regional Director’s Report

Kevin (Mediterranean Regional Director) shared that although the pandemic has brought change to the lives of RI’s workers in the Mediterranean, they continue to connect with friends and contacts in creative ways. Many have seen their business ventures and ministries expand over the past year, and are engaged in their communities through agriculture, education, trauma care, and other giftings.

Communications Report

Garret (Director of Communications) shared that the Communications team has been focused on several new projects. He and Joel, Prayer Coordinator, have developed a new approach to the Intercessor, RI’s monthly prayer update. Madalyn, Media Coordinator, is collaborating with Short-Term Programs to highlight the REACH and Internship programs through short videos. A renewed focus has also been given to providing video content to CMC churches every month, with a long-term goal of generating a lasting catalog of videos on the RI website.

Garret then pivoted to a discussion on new security protocols. The rollout of these changes will begin in 2022 with the distribution of the Prayer Directory.

Financial Report

Jerry (VP of Finance) reported that RI’s total income weakened in the third quarter of 2021. This occurrence is well within the range of typical quarterly fluctuations, although a decline from 2020. Based on year-to-date trends, RI is on track for operating income of $2.4 million with expenses of $2.6 million. Despite this, he expressed strong support of a salary increase of 5.9%, in accordance with the Social Security Administration’s Cost of Living Adjustment for 2022. This increase is included in the total annual budget proposal of $2.8 million. This would be the fifth consecutive year that RI’s budget is set at this level.

Partner Development Report

Mike (Director of Partner Development) introduced himself to the RI Board and shared highlights from his time with the organization. Since joining RI in September, he has attended several conferences, participated in Mission Week at RBC, and spoken at several churches about RI’s work and the importance of missional living.

In December, he will travel to West Africa to connect with church leaders about reaching unreached people groups in the region.

Human Resources Report

Colleen (Director of Human Resources) shared that workers from the Mediterranean Region are connecting well with Dawn, who recently began serving as member care provider. Their recent trip to the region provided closure to Colleen’s time in that role.

She then opened a discussion on the status of several workers. A family forced to relocate to the United States due to COVID-19 has transitioned to Covenant Worker status. A new worker couple has been appointed for an overseas assignment, with the possibility of others accompanying them. Another potential worker is pursuing joint appointment with RI and Pioneers.

The RI office has continued to see transitions as Ashley resigned from her position as Security and Logistics Coordinator and Brittany was appointed as the new Executive Assistant. HR is also in the midst of hiring a new STP Personnel Facilitator as Paige’s time with RI will end in December.

Short-Term Programs Report

Isaac (Director of Short-Term Programs) reported that REACH DTS has gone well over the past months. The team leaders are a blessing, and continue to work hard and invest in their teams on a daily basis. Practicum week was a success, and all teams engaged well at their locations.

Isaac also shared that the 2021 Interns continue to do well in their roles. As their time with RI ends, he celebrates how much each Intern has grown over the course of the year. Looking forward, filling Intern positions for 2022 has proven difficult due to a reduced 2020 REACH class. The application process has been opened for anyone who would like to apply, and so far four have committed to serve in the coming year.

Rosedale Business Group Report

Larry and Dot (RBG Directors) shared about several ongoing projects. The tin roof distribution project continues in Nicaragua. The Rock School project in Southeast Asia remains ongoing, although a lockdown in the country could delay construction. El Dorado’s coffee harvest is abundant, resulting in an increased payroll for coffee pickers, increased processing costs for beans, and increased importing costs. This requires a larger line of credit for Diego’s farm.

Latin American Mission Partnership Report

Larry and Dot (LAMP Coordinators) reported that LAMP continues to face a low vision towards missions among the Latin American churches. There is no movement towards sending new workers, and workers previously sent by the churches receive little financial support from them. Although this has become frustrating, LAMP continues to discern the best way to encourage a mission vision, and seek to understand why that vision is absent.

Future Board Meeting Dates

  • February 14, 2022, Fairview Mennonite Church, Kalona, IA
  • May 2, 2022, RIC, Columbus, OH
  • July 21, 2022, Grantsville, MD
  • November 7, 2022, RIC, Columbus, OH