In the Mennonite Church in Russia, in accord with the autonomy of the individual congregation, each congregation organized its own board of directors (Kirchenvorstand, known as the Konvent. It was composed of the elder, preachers, and deacons. All of them together formed the committee known variously as the Lehrdienst, Kirchenvorstand, Konferenz, or Kirchenkonvent. The Mennonites settling in larger areas of Russia united in major church unions, which were also called Kirchenkonferenz or Kirchenkonvent. This was the origin of the Chortitzaer Mennonitischer Kirchenkonvent. The 18 villages of the Chortitza formed the first Mennonite settlement in Russia. All of the elders of the church district automatically belonged to the Chortitzaer Mennonitischer Kirchenkonvent; probably not all the preachers were included, but at least those who were chosen by their individual congregations were members.
This Kirchenkonvent was not a board with executive authority. It had no power to pass regulations for the various congregations. Resolutions were of course passed at its sessions, but they were given binding force only by the congregations after they had been approved and adopted at the congregational meeting. In this way the autonomy of the individual congregation was fully preserved.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga," 1911.
Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.
Friesen, Peter M. "Konfession oder Sekte." Mss.
Klaus, A. Unsre Kolonien. Odessa, 1887.
 Cite This Article
Braun, Abraham. "Chortitzaer Mennonitischer Kirchenkonvent (Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 Dec 2013. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Chortitzaer_Mennonitischer_Kirchenkonvent_(Chortitza_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=86709.
Braun, Abraham. (1953). Chortitzaer Mennonitischer Kirchenkonvent (Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 December 2013, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Chortitzaer_Mennonitischer_Kirchenkonvent_(Chortitza_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=86709.
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