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 February 2021 board meeting.
Toggle sections below to reveal contents. Names changed for security purposes and last names are not used in some cases.
Joe (President) reported on the annual CIM (Council of International Anabaptist Ministries) conference, highlighting Ashley’s great performance as coordinator which was especially important this year since the group need to meet virtually. He then detailed some of the discussion topics from the Mission Leadership Team (MLT) Summit that took place February 2-4. The team discussed several key topics, including:
- How can we communicate more effectively with our constituents regarding RI’s emphasis on pioneer church planting in places where the church does not yet exist?
- How can we respond to the opportunity for a growing hostel ministry in Southeast Asia without creating unhealthy financial dependence?
- How might LAMP improve its effectiveness in fostering mission vision within Latin American churches?
- How might we better align REACH with RI’s long-term vision to impact the rising generation?
- What are the implications of RI’s theology, values and philosophy of mission for our approach to security risks when sending workers into dangerous locations in the world?
Joe then pivoted the discussion to RI’s Director of Partner Development role, given the recent departure of Andrew. The RI Board members discussed different approaches to development and made several suggestions of potential candidates for filling this role.
Joe briefly talked about the success of the recent CMC-sponsored church planter assessment, and highlighted several instances of COVID-19 expanding congregations in the Mediterranean region.
Jerry (VP of Finances) presented the RI 2020 year-end financial report. RI finished 2020 in a good financial position despite the challenges. Although both income and expenses declined, we finished the year with positive net income. We also were able to grow our net assets substantially over the past year. Jerry noted that RI seems well-positioned to fulfill God’s purposes for our mission agency in 2021. Due to current leaks in the roof at the RIC, there was an extended discussion regarding its replacement. The Board unanimously approved moving forward with the project this year.
Colleen (Director of HR) shared an update on travel for overseas workers. Travel restrictions have eased in North Africa, allowing several workers to return. Thailand has presented more challenges as several workers plan to leave for home assignment in the spring and summer, and hope they will be able to return to Thailand. She also discussed the security challenges RI faces as they prepare to send a worker to West Africa.
Isaac (Director of Short-Term Programs) shared that it was a blessing to be able to complete DTS training in 2020 without any major interruptions. After a year of “trial by fire,” he feels better equipped to handle any difficulties that might arise this coming year. He shared that the current REACH teams—working in Utica, NY and Albuquerque, NM—are doing well, and it’s likely that the upcoming class will also have to limit their outreaches to stateside locations.
Larry and Dot (RBG Directors) reported that seminary student Aaron offered 100 hours to RBG to complete a capstone practicum for his course of study. He will review a RBG business plan for his practicum and provide RBG with recommendations for the project. Larry and Dot also discussed the current hurricane relief project for Nicaragua. Although CMC is collecting and distributing funds, RI is providing logistical, graphic design, and communications support to the effort.
Larry and Dot (LAMP Directors) updated the RI Board on the current situation of LAMP workers. Dot highlighted our collaboration with other Anabaptist agencies to help send workers from Latin American churches to serve overseas.
- May 3, 2021, RIC, Columbus, OH
- August 5, 2021, Goshen, IN
- November 8, 2021, RIC, Columbus, OH
- February 14, 2022, Fairview Mennonite Church, Kalona, IA