When the Goshen College Board of Directors met this past Friday and Saturday, the hiring policy was part of their discussions. They did not make any changes and chose to continue the conversation at their next meeting. However, channels of conversation are in full swing in a much larger context - the Mennonite Church itself.
Jim Brenneman, GC president, addressed faculty and staff members Monday afternoon to provide a recap and welcome conversation about the Board of Directors' meeting.
In regards to the hiring policy, the Board "determined that it was premature to make a specific decision at this time," said Brenneman. "We are in the middle of a larger conversation going on in the denomination. To make a decision now could undermine the listening and discussion process."
The executive board of Mennonite Church USA will meet in Harrisonburg, Va. at the end of this week and have promised to provide some kind of guidance to the larger church on the issue of LGBTQ acceptance. Leadership councils in the Church's area conferences will then meet in March.
"The Board expressed gratitude for the many letters and conversations," said Brenneman, "with special gratitude toward the students and GC Open Letter, who have worked hard to make known their points of view in deliberate and gracious ways."
According to Brennman, every board member shared their personal views on the topic of same-sex equality within hiring practices.
He said not one member considered the topic without a personal connection, a face, attached to it.
The Board of Directors, which meets three times per year, is made up of thirteen members from all over the country, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan, as well as Goshen.
They plan to revisit the hiring policy discussion when they meet again in June "after more decisions are made in the larger framework" of the church, said Brenneman.