The 72nd MHS Assembly

By Riley Mills March 27, 2024

Building Up

In early March, 144 MHS Association members gathered in Savannah, Georgia’s historic downtown to take part in the 72nd annual MHS Assembly (formerly Mennonite Health Assembly).

Each year, a new location is chosen to host this event, alternating cities to accommodate membership that spans the entirety of the US. But this year was a favorite. Spanish moss hung from trees adorned with string lights, and cobbled streets led through historic squares celebrating the city’s history. Members were able to spend their evenings exploring the local landscape with one another in the easily walkable downtown area.

The three-day conference hosted 12 workshops, pre-conference sessions, and 5 keynote speakers. Workshop session tracks included Building Governance Expertise and Building Organizational Impact, and all but one session was NAB CEU certified. Workshops spanned topics on crisis management, values-driven health, sustainable strategies, and IT solutions – all leaning into the overarching theme of this year’s event; Building Up.

All attendees gathered together each day for general sessions anchored in building community, building vocation, and building up ministries and organizations. Clare Krabill, MHS Association COO opened up the first MHS Assembly 2024 general session with a message of Building Up – “There is something in us that seeks to build, to create, to generate. We are created in the image of the Creator – it is woven into our being. Over the next three days we will explore, celebrate, learn, seek to inspire, and, we hope, generate ideas and concepts to build your organizations, and through them, the kingdom of God.”

In addition to building up in the theoretical sense, attendees had the opportunity to build together – Jenga, anyone? During day two’s general session, participants were challenged to work together to create the highest build of Jenga which was the centerpiece of each table for the event. Some took bold risks, some played it safe, and some got creative, setting their Jenga set on top of a stack of books to gain additional height before disassembling the blocks and stacking them.

Leadership development opportunities, insights on governance, and the opportunity to grow are all at the foundation of MHS Assembly’s purpose, but in addition to that, it’s an opportunity for association members to gather together and connect in faith, mission, and learning. In 2025, we hope for much of the same. Join us in Pittsburgh, PA, next year for another gathering of all levels of health and human services leadership to connect, learn, and be inspired.