ELKHART, Ind. (Mennonite Church USA)—At the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board’s April 4–6, 2013, meeting in Kansas City, Mo., board members approved the March 2013 action of the Church Extension Services (CES) board of Mennonite Church USA to transfer the responsibility for administering the CES church loan program to Everence, the denomination’s stewardship agency. CES will then be phased out as a separate entity.
All of the assets and liabilities related to CES will be transferred to Everence, except for $250,000 of equity to be placed in an Executive Board restricted fund to advance ministries consistent with the mission of CES.
“The money will likely be invested back into the church loan program, and only the interest would be used for other ministries,” says Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA.
Since 1958, CES has made loans available to congregations needing a loan to help them build or purchase a facility or improve their facilities.
“This ministry begun by the General Conference Mennonite Church was deeply appreciated by the churches, many of whom could not have attained a conventional bank loan,” says Stutzman. “The ministry reached beyond local congregations to overseas locations.”
CES was managed by a board that was accountable to the denomination. For the last couple of years, the CES board functioned under the oversight of Everence, which provided financial expertise and advice. On March 14, 2013, the CES board met and approved the recommendation from CES and Everence to transfer all assets and liabilities of CES to Everence Association.
“Everence’s goal is to expand the reach of the original CES mission,” Stutzman says. “First, they hope to serve more emerging and disadvantaged congregations. In addition, they want to expand their impact to include new forms of ministry and outreach to communities.”
The Executive Board took action to express appreciation to Everence for its work on the transfer of CES assets and liabilities to Everence and for its vision to expand the resources available for loans to churches. The EB also expressed appreciation to the CES board for their years of faithful service and for their continued work as an advisory group to Everence as they steward this reorganized ministry.
—Marty Lehman, director of churchwide operations for Mennonite Church USA