Vision & Accountability Team Archives
Members: Cheryl Martin (Chair), Frank Kandel (Vice-Chair) CoraLyn Turentine (CR1), Mark Stocksdale (CR2), Carol Bixler (CR3)
Pastoral Representatives: Brian Bither, Craig Oury
(For more records, consult the file cabinet upstairs across from the copy machine.)
Mennonites believe in the “priesthood of all believers,” which means that no Christian has a closer connection to God than others by virtue of his or her status and that all Christians must offer one another support and accountability. At the same time, we believe that God calls people into specific leadership roles, which does not elevate them above the community but equips them to serve it. Our church has five commissions that lead the various aspects of our congregational life.
Pastor Brian Bither
Brian grew up on the west side of Indianapolis and became a Christian in the Free Methodist Church. From an early age, he sensed a call to ministry and studied religion, philosophy, and Biblical literature in college to better equip himself. During that time, he began attending an urban church on the near east side of Indianapolis and ended up serving as youth pastor there for four years. His experiences at that church were powerful and life-changing and challenged him to reexamine the way he understood both the gospel and the world.
Brian attended Duke Divinity School to deepen his theological understanding. At Duke, he came to appreciate the peace witness and ecclesiological understanding of the Mennonite Church and eventually decided that he wanted to join. Upon returning to Indianapolis, he and his wife began attending Shalom Mennonite Church and quickly fell in love with it. When the Associate Pastor position opened up in 2012, Brian eagerly pursued it. He has served the church since 2013 in different pastoral capacities, during which time, he and his wife have had two daughters and a son.
Brian is generally available to meet on Mondays and Fridays, as well as other miscellaneous times throughout the week. However, he is not always in the church building. If you would like to meet with him, feel free to email him at email@example.com.
Pastor Craig Oury
Craig grew up in Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso, graduating from Chesterton High School in Chesterton. Craig grew up attending a Mennonite church in Valparaiso and at an early age enjoyed the community of people from all generations. While in college getting a BS in Mathematics Craig felt the call to ministry. After graduating he decided to explore theology and polity of several denominations. After discovering he truly identified as Mennonite he attended Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN to gain a more focused Anabaptist theology and history.
After graduating from seminary Craig pastored a Mennonite congregation in Maryland for 15 + years before accepting a call to Shalom. Craig enjoys building relationships with people in and out of the church. Some of Craig's favorite Biblical passages include ones where people, especially the disciples, just don't quite get it right. Because following Jesus can be difficult even for people who spent much time with Jesus in person.
Craig is available Monday-Thursdays at the church and takes Friday as a Sabbath. Please feel free to call, text, email, or stop by to talk about anything, major or minor, or baseball and Cubs-related. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.