St. Jacobs, Ont., Canada—Bert Lobe of St. Jacobs, Ontario has announced that he will retire from his work with Mennonite World Conference (MWC) at the end of 2012. He has served with MWC since 2008.
During this year he will assist the new General Secretary, César García, with the many transitions that come with a leadership change.
As the MWC North American representative, Lobe will also continue to nurture relations with MWC members and participants in North America by facilitating visits of the General Secretary and representing MWC at meetings. Together with Merle and Phyllis Good of Pennsylvania, Lobe coordinates fundraising activities in North America.
Further, he represents MWC in developing and supporting cooperative programs with Mennonite Central Committee, such as the placement of an MWC intern at the United Nations and the selection of young adults in the global south for the YAMEN! (Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network) program. He is also delegated by the General Secretary to relate to the Asia Caucus and MWC member churches in Asia.
“We are thankful for the gifts, wisdom and service that Bert is investing in the global church,” commented García. “We will miss his energy and work capacity.”
Lobe’s work experience has focused around education and the work of the church—Mennonite Central Committee and MWC. He and his wife Martha have spent 20 years serving in leadership roles with MCC in India, Bangladesh, Winnipeg and Akron, 22 years in education, serving as principal in a public high school, a Mennonite high school and as associate principal of the American International School in Hong Kong.
“Vocationally I have tried to find myself at the intersection where the challenges and needs of the world intersect with my own deep inner gladness,” commented Lobe. “These years with MWC have convinced me again of the significance of the church and the work in which it is engaged. Notwithstanding its frailty and failure, at its best the church is a community of salvation in the many places in which it is found. It is!!”
Lobe added, “My own deep satisfaction and joy occurs when I find myself with folks who are trying, as a community, to make sense of that it means to follow Jesus in their very particular places. And when those attempts at being in the world in the manner and spirit of Jesus are shared, there is such capacity for hope, compassion and strength to be set free. That is the church!”
- MWC release
Photo: Bert Lobe