The second joint MHS Mennonite Health Assembly and Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) Education Leaders Gathering (ELG) will take place March 9–12, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, Florida. The purpose of the conference is to strengthen institution and agency leadership starting at the board level.


“I am excited for the generative possibilities of this conference,” said Carlos Romero, executive director of MEA. “This will be our second opportunity to bring together leaders from the education and health fields to learn from one another, interact, build relationships and strategize about the future.”


The conference agenda will center on the theme, “Beyond buried treasure: Turning hidden resources into assets.” Workshops and keynote speakers will focus on how to look within organizations to find hidden resources and abilities that team members bring to the table, and how to capitalize on underutilized resources to strengthen an organization’s mission.


“The committee selected the theme to focus on the rich resource of talent and creativity that exists among us,” said Mim Shirk, senior vice president of MHS. “We want to help institutions and organizations, large and small, consider new solutions by finding and cultivating the assets they already have.”


The theme Scripture for the conference is Matthew 13:44: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”


“As we look toward the future, the theme and Bible verse will remind us about the precious gifts that God has entrusted us with,” said Romero. “Our institutions, organizations and resources are precious gifts that call us not only to be good stewards, but also to share with the world what we have to offer.”


The first joint conference, which also included Mennonite Church USA agency boards, was held in 2013 in Orlando, Florida, and drew more than 500 participants.


For more information about the 2017 joint conference, visit or


Contributed by Mennonite Church USA/MEA Staff  –  6/7/2016