Mountain States Mennonite Conference 2016 delegates have approved the following slate for Leadership Board. They will begin serving in January 2017, joining Ellen Fox, Mike Martin, Nelda Thelin and Wilmer Villacorta who will be continuing with the Board. Much thanks to the following Board members who will complete their term at the end of December: Karen Cox, Moderator; Carlene Hill and Phil Rosenberger.
Ken Gingerich (1st term as Moderator ending December 31, 2018) (Albuquerque Mennonite)
I’ve been actively involved with Mountain States Conference since our beginning—and before that with Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference (RMMC). Our introduction to RMMC came when and Leona and I served as lay leaders at Albuquerque Mennonite in the early ’90’s. In 1995 we returned to Indiana when I took a position with Mennonite Board of Missions/Mission Network as the art director. When Mennonite Church USA was formed, I also became art director for the Executive Board Staff, but I really missed New Mexico. So with the advent of online digital capabilities I brought my work back with me in 2004. As part of the Executive Board Staff I worked with MC USA conventions (from Orlando 1997 to Kansas City 2015) and many other projects over the years. In that process I developed many relationships across the church and a broad working knowledge of the denomination. In recent years I’ve served as a board member of MSMC and also with the SEED project. Leona and I are currently worship elders at Albuquerque Mennonite.
Katie Cunningham (1st term ending December 31, 2018) (Albuquerque Mennonite)
I grew up in Mansfield, Ohio where I was baptized into a Presbyterian church. I chose the Mennonite faith in my late twenties and was rebaptized at Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville, Ohio. I graduated with degrees in Vocational Education from Purdue University and taught high school in Indiana and Ohio for 13 years. While serving two years of voluntary service in Michigan with my family, I began attending Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where I earned a masters in Christian Formation. After serving as a case manager for a single parent program in Elkhart, IN for nine years, I was called to be a pastor of visitation and senior care at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church in Goshen, IN. I served there for nearly 14 years before moving to Albuquerque in November 2013 to live closer to three daughters and their families, two of which are in Albuquerque. I have been married to John Cunningham for 39 years. Together we have 4 children and 7 grandchildren with two more on the way. I enjoy sewing and quilting, hiking, reading and exploring the Southwest! Currently I am a Spiritual Director for individuals and groups. I look forward to getting to know Mountain States Conference leaders and churches.
Tatdao Yang (1st term ending December 31, 2018) (Hmong Mennonite Church)
My family and I traveled from Thailand to the United States in August 2007. I was thirteen year old then. I did not know any English, except how to say hello, hi, yes, no, and thank you. I only know how to speak, read, and write in Thai and Hmong at that time. It was hard to learn English, especially when I had to go to school with a bunch of other people who only spoke English. As a middle child of my loving parents, I always try to do my best to be a good loving daughter. I just turned twenty-two last June of this year (2016). I have three lovely sisters and one stubborn brother. My father was the previous pastor of Hmong Mennonite Church. I currently work as an optic technician at a small company in Boulder, CO. As a full time employee, I attend college as a part time student. I’m currently enrolled in Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am interested in getting a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Tourism and Events. Although I have a full time job and attend college as a part time student, I also volunteer to serve God as a worship coordinator as well as one of the committee members for our church building project at Hmong Mennonite Church. I like to help out with people in my community and serve God with anything I can do for Him and His people. It is a blessing what God had done to my family and myself.