Changes ahead for MWC

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Mennonite World Conference North American offices are about to change, and those changes will directly affect two Mennonite Brethren staff members. MWC is a global fellowship of Anabaptist-related churches. 

MWC's office in Fresno, Calif., will close at the end of 2009. Pakisa Tshimika, who began working for MWC from Fresno in August 1999, will complete his service as associate general secretary at that time, moving from a permanent staff role to an occasional assignment as global church advocate. His immediate assignment is to lead planning for the Global Anabaptist Service Consultation to be convened by MWC in mid-2010. With the closing of the Fresno office, Dennis Becker will complete his work as executive assistant to Tshimika. Becker and Tshimika are both from College Community MB Church, Clovis, Calif.

The changes in North America begin action on Program Plan 2009–2012, approved by the General Council at its meeting in Paraguay in July. The plan calls for shifting more MWC administrative capacity to the global South. The goal over the next several years is to appoint representatives in each continent to strengthen relationships with and between member churches as well as with related organizations.

The office in Kitchener, Ont., will become MWC's North American headquarters, headed by Albert C. Lobe, MWC North America representative. In that role, he will give focused time and energy to building relationships with MWC members and participants across North America. 

A new general secretary, preferably from the global South, will also be named. The search for a successor to Larry Miller, general secretary since 1990 with an office in Strasbourg, France, is underway. Miller will retire in May 2012.—Ferne Burkhardt for MWC

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