Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Classification scheme: 

Title: Mennonite Church Eastern Canada fonds

Dates of creation: 1988-

Administrative history: The Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada resulted from the merger of three Ontario Mennonite groups: the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec (5,110 members, 1987), the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference (3,195 members, 1987), and the Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario (5,192 members, 1987). The first two groups were conferences of the Mennonite Church (MC). The last was a provincial conference related to the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, which was one of the districts of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM).

In 1973 the three conferences formed an Inter-Mennonite Conference (Ontario) (fonds XXVIII) to direct their growing cooperative work in mission, education, and congregational resources. The separate conference structures remained intact, and they reserved the right to make final decisions on policy and budgets.

A 1979 proposal to amalgamate all three groups was defeated. In 1986, however, the conferences decided to "integrate" (this term, it was felt, implied less of a melting pot than "merger" or "amalgamation") by 1988.

In March 1987 delegates from the three conferences approved a structural model for the proposed integration. The Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada was officially inaugurated on Mar. 1, 1988. At its inception MCEC was structured with an Executive Board and six program commissions (Congregational Resources, Education & Nurture, Finance, Leadership, Mission and Service, and Pastoral Leadership Training). In addition there was a Programme Committee (planning delegate sessions) and a Theological Concerns Council. Conrad Grebel College was seen as having "commission-like" status, but was not respresented on the Executive Board. The Women of MCEC also related to the conference, but remained an independent organization with its own structure and governance. Most commissions also had one or more program-focused sub-committees.

In 1995 some adjustments were made to the structure -- Christian Education and Nurture Comission was divided into three commissions -- Christian Education and Nurture, Student and Young Adult Ministries and Youth Ministries. The Congregational Resources Commissions was disbanded, and the Peace, Justice and Social Concerns Committee became a commission. The latter had previously been program committees under the commission. A further change to the governance structure took place in 1999 when the Executive Board was reduced in size, and direct representation by the commissions on the executive board was eliminated. In 2000 an Interim Stewardship Commission was established to pick up some work that the Finance Commission had never been able to address.

In October 2001 the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada changed its name to Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in recognition of the transformation of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada (formerly Conference of Mennonites in Canada). Instead of relating to separate binational and national denominational structures, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada now was affiliated only with a national body.

Restructuring was again contemplated beginning in 2003, with plans to put a new structure in place in 2005.

The Ontario Women in Mission (OWM) (based in the United Mennonite Conference) and the Women's Mission and Service Commission (WMSC)(based in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario & Quebec and the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference) merged in 1995 to form the Women of MCEC (WMCEC). Although not formally accountable to the MCEC structure, we are following past practice and including the records of the organization within MCEC.

In 2004 the conference included 90 congregations with a total membership of 14,000.

Custodial history: Donations have been received both from individuals and from the Conference. The Mennonite Archives of Ontario is the official repository for MCEC. Files are periodically transferred from conference offices to the Archives.

Notes: Original description created by Sam Steiner in June 2004.

File list:

The fonds is arranged into sixteen series: 1) Delegate meetings; 2) Executive Board; 3) Directories; 4)Congregational Resources Commission; 5) Finance; 6) Education and Nurture; 7) Leadership; 8) Mission and Service; 9) Pastoral Leadership Training; 10) Theological Concerns Council; 11) Mennonite Youth Council of Eastern Canada; 12) Peace Justice and Social Concerns Commission; 13) Student and Young Adult Commission; 14) Youth Ministries Commission; 15) Stewardship Commission ; 16) Women of MCEC

Series 1: Delegate Meeting Reports & Minutes (1988-)


Milestones lists, 2002-2014
Note: File contains annually compiled lists of milestones (baptisms, births, deaths) in MCEC congregations. Lists for the years 2006-2008 are available in digital form only.

Series 2:  Executive Board (1988-)

  1. Minutes and correspondence 
    1987 (Inter-Mennonite Executive Council)
    1987/88 (Provisional Executive Board)
    1988/89 - 1993/94
  2. Legal documents / reports 
    Indenture of 31 October 1987 (Amalgamation document) 
    Constitution / Bylaws / Operational Guidelines, 1987, 1988, 1992 (plus some revisions)
    Personnel Policy Manual, 1991 
  3. Executive Secretary / Minister to Conference 
    Interim Coordinator job description, 1991
  4. Programme Committee 
    Minutes, 1990-1993 (incomplete)
  5. Staff and Chairs 
    Minutes, 1990-1992 (incomplete)
  6. Gift Discernment Committee (1995- ) 
  7. Special Committees / Consultations as created
    Consultations on Binational Relations (1988) 
    Conference Consultation with Mennonite Church (MC) (1989, 1992) 
    Ad Hoc Pension Committee (1990)
    Conference Consultation with General Conference Mennonite Church (GCMC)(1990) 
    Rockway Lots Valuation (1991-1992) 
    Mission Statement Committee (1992-1993) 
    Rockway Facility Committee minutes & correspondence (1992-1993) 
    Area Meetings on MCEC Congregations Joining Conference of Mennonites in Canada (1993)
    Task Force on Personnel Policies (1989)
    A Time for Listening correspondence and data sheets (1995-1996)
    Listening Committee for Gay and Lesbian Concerns (1989-2006)
  8. MCEC Publications
    Penner, Carol. Sacred Trust : Fostering Safe Space in Congregations : A Resource for the Anabaptist Faith Community on Sexual Misconduct in the Church. Kitchener, ON: Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 2016.
    Penner, Carol. Safezone: Promoting Healthy Boundaries in Christian Camps. Kitchener, ON: Mennnonite Church Eastern Canada, 2019.

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Series 3: Directories

1989-1995 (Conference staff, committees and congregations)
1998/99, 2000/01-2002/03 (Conference staff & committees)

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Series 4: Congregational Resources Commission Series (1988-1995)

  1. Minutes and correspondence 
    1988-1995 (incomplete)
  2. Family Life Committee
  3. Historical Committee
  4. Library & Resources Committee
  5. Peace, Justice and Social Concerns Committee (1988-1995)
  6. Peace, Justice and Social Concerns Coordinator (-1995)
  7. Service for Seniors Committee
    Note: Donated to the Archives by J. M. Nighswander.
    1. Minutes and correspondence, 1983-1984, 1989-1997
    Note: Includes minutes of the Consultation on Services to Seniors in Congregations (Sept 1983-Jan 1984); Services for Seniors Committee (Nov 1990-Nov 1994, May 1995, Nov 1995-Mar 1997)
    2. Resource and Enrichment Day, 1998
    3. News Clippings
  8. Worship and Fellowship Committee

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Series 5: Finance Commission (1988-)

  1. Minutes and correspondence 
    1988-1993 (incomplete)
  2. Accountant
  3. Financial Aid Committee
  4. Investment & Property Committee
  5. Committee for Mission Fund Disbursement
  6. Special Committees as Created 
    Integrated Capital Fund Drive Committee Minutes, Correspondence, Literature (1989-1990)

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Series 6: Education and Nurture Commission (1988-)

  1. Minutes and correspondence 
    1988-1993 (incomplete)
  2. Minister of Christian Education (1988-)
  3. Student, Young Adult Minister (1988-1995)
  4. Youth Minister (1988-1995)
  5. Christian Education Committee (1988-1995)
    1. Minutes and Correspondence
  6. Ontario Mennonite Music Camp (1988- )
    1. Minutes and Correspondence
  7. Youth, Student, and Young Adult Services Committee (1988-1995)
    1. Minutes and Correspondence
  8. Youth Ministries Commission (1995- )
  9. Student and Young Adult Services Commission (1995- )

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Series 7: Leadership Commission (1988-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence
  2. Conference Minister / Minister of Pastoral Services
  3. Gift Discernment Committee (1988-1995)
    1. Minutes and Correspondence

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Series 8: Mission and Service Commission (1988-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence 
    1988-2010 (incomplete)
  2. Missions Minister / Minister of Missions
  3. Mission and Service Promotion Committee
    1. Minutes and Correspondence
  4. Congregational Mission and Outreach Committee
    1. Minutes and Correspondence
  5. June Schwartzentruber Fund Committee
    1. Minutes and Correspondence

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Series 9: Pastoral Leadership Training Commission (1988-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence 
    Note: Includes minutes of the Pastoral Leadership Training Commission Executive Committee (formerly the Curriculum Advisory Committee), 19 Dec 1984-14 Sept 1993
  2. Minister of Pastoral Leadership Training
  3. Committee on Ministerial Enrichment
    1. Minutes and Correspondence, 1986-1997

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Series 10: Theological Concerns Council (1988-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence 
    1988-1993 (Incomplete)

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Series 11: Mennonite Youth Council of Eastern Canada

  1. Minutes and Correspondence

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Series 12: Peace, Justice and Social Concerns Comission (1995-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence
  2. Minister of Peace, Justice and Social Concerns

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Series 13: Student and Young Adult Ministries Commission (1995-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence
  2. Minister of Student and Young Adult Ministries

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Series 14: Youth Ministries Commission (1995-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence
  2. Minister of Youth Ministries

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Series 15: Stewardship Commission (2000-)

  1. Minutes and Correspondence
  2. Giving Project Consultant

Series 16: Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (WMCEC)

  1. Policy Manual, Bylaws and Memos of Understanding, 1997, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2020
  2. Annual reports and minutes
    1995-2019 (2019 includes finanical statement and Enrichment Day minutes only)
  3. Fall Workshop and Enrichment Day programs, 1995-2016
  4. WMCEC Executive minutes and correspondence, 1995-2016, 2019-2020
  5. Women of MCEC banner, 1 Apr 2000
    Note: Banner was hand painted by Write Hand Lettering (Cheryl Good) of New Hamburg.
  6. WMCEC Program Committee minutes, 1996-2006
  7. Mennonite Women congregational newsletter, 1998-2007
  8. WMCEC photograph albums, 1991-2007
  9. Plaque celebrating 25-year partnership with Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 2013

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Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238