Bogotá, Colombia – In meetings prior to the 21-26 July Assembly, Mennonite World Conference announced changes in the leadership of three of its commissions.
“Transitions are a very important part of living organisms,” commented MWC general secretary César García. “Our human body, for example, needs to renew its cells in order to keep healthy. In the same way our MWC constitution provides specific terms for some leadership positions in order to help our global body stay healthy and renewed by new leadership and new vision. It is a blessing when leaders fulfill a stage in their service and are ready to move to new positions of service.
Joji Pantoja was appointed as chair of the Peace Commission. Joji and her husband Dann, originally from Canada, are peace building missionaries in the Philippines. She succeeds Paulus Widjaja of Indonesia as chair.
Newly appointed as secretary of the Peace Commission is Andrew Suderman. Andrew and his wife Karen, originally from Canada, are providing leadership to an Anabaptist Network and Resource Centre in South Africa. He succeeds Robert J. Suderman as secretary of the commission.
Stanley Green of the United States was appointed as chair of the Mission Commission. Green is executive director of Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA. He succeeds Richard Showalter of the United States as chair. Rafael Zaracho of Paraguay continues as secretary of the commission.
Siaka Traoré of Burkina Faso was appointed as chair of the Deacons Commission. Traoré is president of Église Évangélique Mennonite du Burkina Faso. He succeeds Cynthia Peacock of India as chair. Henk Stenvers of the Netherlands continues as secretary of the commission.
Alfred Neufeld of Paraguay continues as chair of the Faith and Life Commission, and John Roth of the United States as secretary.
“I want to express my gratitude for the years of service that Paulus, Richard, and Cynthia did in a voluntary way as commission chairs and for the excellent work that Robert developed as Peace Commission secretary,” noted César García. “These leaders contributed to the good health of our MWC body. They did so during their years of service and during this time of transition. It is my prayer that the new leaders of our commissions will be encouraged and inspired by their predecessors in their global ministries.”
Mennonite World Conference release