Priesthood of Believers
“Christ has made us priests, a chosen and holy people, a people to serve God in love.” ~ Menno Simons, The True Christian Faith, 1556
We center our church life on the belief that we come together as a priesthood of believers. This commitment grows from our Anabaptist roots in the sixteenth-century Radical Reformation. We live this out in community in various ways:
- In terms of the organization and operation of our church, all congregants are invited to participate in our bi-monthly Congregational Life Meetings where we make decisions by the consensus of the gathered members.
- We believe that every person who comes through our doors may minister to our community in some way. We build our worship and fellowship around the people who gather every week, people who share the responsibilities of preaching, song leading, praying, service planning, and scripture reading. God speaks through all of us.
- As a non-hierarchical community, our pastor is a member of our congregation, a sibling in the faith who serves as an extension of our communal discernment. A committee of deacons, who are appointed by the congregation, guide the pastor’s role as a leader in our community.
All of us contribute to the week-to-week operation of church through sharing our time and energy. In addition to the leadership positions listed above, we have several standing committees to tend to our common life:
- The Worship Committee (Steve Jolley, Nick Plummer, Catherine Lee)
- The Formation Committee (Catherine Lee, Rebecca Rich, Chris Liu-Beers, Erin Mullaney, Kathy Roberts)
- The Hospitality Committee (Jen Peifer, Tana Liu-Beers, Sarah Marks)
- The Finance Committee (Steve Jolley, Jen Peifer, Tom Lehman, Zach Yordy)
- The Building Committee (Rebecca Rich, Tom Lehman, Steve Jolley)
We appoint three church officers to care for our organizational life and guide us in our collective responsibilities for sustaining our community. They serve in positions that range from 1 to 3 years terms. Currently, the following members have been appointed as officers :
Church Moderator: Erin Mullaney
Secretary: Chris Liu-Beers
Treasurer: Steve Jolley
We appoint four deacons, each serving a three-year term, to serve our congregation as follows: to supervise and care for the pastor, to help facilitate our discernment of the church’s mission, to administer the ordinances of the church, to share in the work of pastoral care for congregants, to distribute money from the benevolence fund as needed, and to guide us in our Anabaptist convictions.
Benjamin Rudeen Kreider
Benjamin Rudeen Kreider was called to be the pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship and began in August 2023. Ben grew up in North Newton, Kansas, where he attended Bethel College. He worked a year with Mennonite Central Committee in Honduras and for three years was Director of Prison Ministries with OVM, Inc., leading visitation and arts programs at the Hutchinson (KS) Correctional Facility. He recently graduated with an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary with a concentration in Black Church Studies and an MSW in Management and Policy from Rutgers University School of Social Work. Ben loves cooking, gardening, adventures by bike, canoe or foot, soccer and woodworking. He is married to Alli and they are enjoying getting to know Chapel Hill/Durham.
Ben enjoys sharing conversation over a walk, coffee, or a meal. If you’d like to connect, please contact him at [email protected].
Children & Youth Pastor
Catherine Thiel Lee
Catherine has been a member of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship since 2009, serving as a preacher, deacon, committee member, and Sunday school teacher. In 2020 she began working part time as the Coordinator of Children’s and Youth Ministry, grateful for the CHMF youth who showed up faithfully to start a youth group over Zoom during the pandemic and kept coming back. Catherine graduated with a BA in Religious Studies from UNC Chapel Hill and a MDiv from Regent College in Vancouver.
Catherine works full time as a hospice chaplain for Transitions Lifecare. In the past she worked with refugee claimants in Vancouver, BC.