The Governance Structure of Mennonite Women USA

Adopted February 27, 2002 (last updated April 2013)

1. Name and Beginning Date

The name of this organization shall be Mennonite Women USA (MW USA). The organization shall become operational on February 1, 2003.

2. Mission and Vision

• Our mission at Mennonite Women USA is to empower women and women’s groups as we nurture our life in Christ through studying the Bible, using our gifts, hearing each other, and engaging in mission and service.
• Our vision
Mennonite Women USA invites women across generations, cultures, and places to share and honor our stories, care for each other, and express our prophetic voice boldly as we seek to follow Christ.

3. Fulfilling Mission and Vision

In order to carry out its mission, Mennonite Women USA shall connect with global sisters for mutual support, provide resources for individuals and groups in MC USA congregations, and speak prophetically on women’s issues. MW USA will generate funds from the constituency to finance programming to fulfill the mission and vision.

4. Constituency

All women in Mennonite Church USA are welcomed as part of Mennonite Women USA. This ministry is focused on meeting the needs of: 1) organized Mennonite Women USA groups, 2) Timbrel subscribers, and 3) individual women or groups who contribute to or participate in activities of Mennonite Women USA.

5. Financial Structure

Mennonite Women USA is supported by donations from individuals and groups, purchases and subscriptions, and grants.

6. Registered Office

The registered office of Mennonite Women USA is at 718 N. Main St., Newton, KS 67114. If the office is relocated, it shall be at one of the regional or denominational offices of the wider church.

7. Board of Directors

Section a: Role and Function
The program of Mennonite Women USA shall be managed by a board of directors. The board of directors will hire an executive director to provide leadership and direction for actualizing the vision and day-to-day operations of Mennonite Women USA. At its discretion, the board of directors may delegate its duties to any subcommittee of this board. The board of directors may also adopt any procedures for the governance of MW USA consistent with this governance structure. The board of directors shall meet a minimum of two times annually with at least one of those meetings face-to-face. Consensus is the preferred method of decision-making; however, any vote may pass with a majority of support of those present at a meeting of the board of directors. For voting purposes a quorum constitutes a majority of board members.

Section b: Board Composition
The board consists of a chair, chair-elect, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, Editorial Advisory Council member; representatives of the following racial/ethnic groups: African American Mennonite Association, Iglesia Menonita Hispana, United Native Ministries, and other organized racial/ethnic groups in Mennonite Church USA; and representatives of the following four geographic areas: East Coast, Great Lakes, Central States, and West Coast. Board size will consist of at least seven but no more than 12 members (on chair-elect year, no more than 13 members). Additional representation will necessitate board members filling more than one role.

Section c: Executive Committee
The executive committee consists of the chair (chair), chair-elect, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer.

Section d: Personnel Committee
The personnel committee consists of the chair (chair), chair-elect, vice chair, treasurer, and EAC representative.

Section e: Nominating Committee
The nominating committee consists of the vice chair (chair), the racial/ethnic representatives, and the geographic representatives.

Section f: Finance Committee
The finance committee consists of the treasurer (chair), chair, chair-elect, member-at-large (appointed annually), and executive director.

Section f1: Advancement Committee
The advancement committee consists of the treasurer (chair), chair, chair-elect, member-at-large (appointed annual) and executive director.

Section g: Editorial Advisory Council
The Editorial Advisory Council (EAC) is comprised of the EAC representative to the board, two appointed board members representing geographic and ethnic diversity, and three varying ad hoc members. These six serve as Timbrel advisors and may be contributing editors for the magazine. The editor is a member of this committee with the executive director, who is a non-voting member.

Section h: Bible Study Advisory Council
The Bible Study Advisory Council (BSAC) is a joint committee of MW USA and Mennonite Women Canada. It consists of two representatives from each country, and the MW USA co-director and the Mennonite Women Canada chair. One of the representatives from MW USA is the EAC representative who serves as chair of the BSAC.

Section i: Board Selection Procedures
The chair, chair-elect, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, and Editorial Advisory Council member shall be selected by the nominating committee. The racial/ethnic representatives shall be appointed by their constituent groups. Regional representatives shall be appointed using the following process: the nominating committee will solicit names of potential board members from each conference in that geographic area with an organized MW USA executive committee or conference contact persons, drawing from the various conferences on a rotating basis; if a board member is not found in this way, another individual may be selected by the nominating committee.

Section j: Confirmation of Board Members
All candidates for board membership are confirmed via consent agenda at the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meeting prior to the beginning of their term on January 1.

Section k: Term(s) of Service
Board members shall serve for a term of four years, except the chair, who shall serve for a term of five years, the first year serving as chair elect. Members may hold office for no more than two consecutive terms, except the chair, who may serve only one term. The board of directors will establish procedures so that the terms of the members of the board shall be staggered. Incomplete terms shall be filled by consultation between the chair and the nominating committee. The members of the board of directors shall assume their duties on January 1, unless the appointing body specifies otherwise.

8. Affiliation

Mennonite Women USA is a constituent group of Mennonite Church USA. Procedures for affiliation include:
a. Guidelines and program of Mennonite Women USA shall be in harmony with guidelines and program of MC USA.
b. Board and staff shall be members of MC USA congregations.
c. The MW USA executive director and board chair (or appointed board member) shall participate as members of the Constituency Leadership Council.
d. Connection to MC USA Executive Board (EB): docket/minutes of MW USA board meetings and requested reports shall be sent to EB offices; executive director shall attend meetings for constituent group leadership as requested/annually; MW USA board members are confirmed by EB.

9. General and Miscellaneous Provisions

a. The fiscal year of Mennonite Women USA shall extend from August 1 through July 31.
b. A procedures manual and job descriptions of board and staff shall guide the operations of Mennonite Women USA.
c. MW USA board chair will initiate a review of entire program at least once every four years.
d. Any proposed action to amend or repeal this governance structure must be given to all board members at least 30 days prior to a decision being made. Board members may waive the notice requirement.

April 2013

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