The Leadership Discernment Committee of Mountain States Mennonite Conference announces the new Ministerial Council.
The MSMC Ministerial Council is responsible for the credentialing process for pastors and leaders of MSMC. They typically meet quarterly and have “sacred conversations” with candidates for licensure or ordination in our Conference, as well as processing the transfer of credentials between Conferences. We also take time to meet with new pastors/leaders in our region as a way of welcoming and incorporating new faces into our midst. In addition, the Ministerial Council serves as a resource for our Conference. We plan the annual Pastors Retreat and consider other formational and educational opportunities for our pastors and ministry leaders.
Merv Birky is a pastor at Beth-El Mennonite Church in Colorado Springs. He grew up in Puerto Rico and Illinois; attended Hesston College, U of Northern Colorado and Denver Seminary; served in Voluntary Service near Palmer Lake at Frontier Boys Village, taught high school at IA Mennonite School; was pastor for 16 years at West Union Mennonite Church in IA before coming to Beth-El in 1995. Merv and his wife, Venita King—who grew up at Beth-El—have four children and seven grandchildren. Merv enjoys his work, family, people, hiking, reading, and woodworking—although not necessarily in that order.
Marilyn Miller served as a pastor in Colorado for 15 years. She then served as Director of Outreach Ministries for the General Conference Mennonite Church for 12 years. She was Western District Interim Associate Conference Minister for Colorado churches for one year. She received an A.A. degree from Hesston College, a B.S. degree from Bethel College, a M. Div. from Iliff School of Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is married to Maurice Miller. They greatly enjoy their two daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. The Millers recently moved from Boulder to Colorado Springs.
Duncan Smith moved from Portland, Oregon, to the Denver metro area with his wife, Charlene Epp, in July of 2014. They moved to the Denver to be closer to Charlene’s family. He is also enjoying the geography and climate, which is similar to where he grew up in Spokane, Washington. Duncan brings over 25 years of ministry experience as a pastor, intentional interim pastor and conference minister in both urban and rural settings. Duncan’s first vocation was in social work. He has extensive training in mediation, with a special focus in formal training and practice over the last few years. He is currently building his own practice and is connected to Genesis Mediation. Duncan seeks to bring his skills of peacemaking to all of the work he does. He also currently serves as the Director for the MC USA health care plan for staff and church workers, The Corinthian Plan