MCM Launches Renewed Focus on Congregational Health

MCM Launches Renewed Focus on Congregational Health

At its fall retreat, the Mennonite Church Manitoba board committed MCM to a renewed focus on the congregational health of its 38 member churches.

Board member Don Rempel Boschman notes that this action responds to a longstanding need articulated by MCM members. “Some years ago, the MCM board asked the delegate body which activities MCM should prioritize in its work. One priority that rose to near the top of the list was to help congregations become healthier reflections of what God was calling them to be.”

Effective October 1, long-time MCM staff member Kathy Giesbrecht has stepped into the newly created role of Director of Congregational Ministries. In this half-time position, Kathy will work with a new Congregational Health Committee to oversee this initiative on congregational health.

“I am thrilled that MCM has invited me into a deeper engagement with congregational ministries,” Kathy says. “I look forward to exploring and experimenting with ministry possibilities that will serve to strengthen our congregations and communities.”

As Executive Minister Michael Pahl explains, “MCM staff have been supporting congregational health in our churches, of course, but in a rather ad hoc way. This shift allows us to do this more intentionally.”

The MCM board will work immediately to form the Congregational Health Committee. One of the first tasks of this committee will be to explore options for a working model to assist congregations in assessing and nurturing their health as a church.

Over the next two years, until a new model for church health can be implemented, Kathy Giesbrecht and the Congregational Health Committee will work to provide resources for congregations in specific areas of church health. For 2022, the two focus areas will be care within congregations and local witness and mission.

“I am really excited about this initiative,” says MCM board moderator Gerald Gerbrandt. “I sense many in our congregations are wondering what will their reality be as we gradually move beyond the pandemic. My hope is that through this initiative the conference can resource congregations in this transition in a way that helps revitalize their life together and their mission.”

For more information and upcoming resources, see the new Congregational Ministries web page at