50 Years of Faith in Action - Governance
MCC Saskatchewan is where it is today because of the strong and committed leadership and volunteer energy that has sustained it over the years. These were the sentiments of the dozens of people who attended the Governance anniversary celebration on September 13 in the MCC Centre atrium.
Peter Guenther, present board chair, chaired the meeting and opened by reviewing some of the early history of MCC in Saskatchewan.
Although Fred Peters, the first executive director of MCCS was not able to be present, Toni Peters who also worked with MCCS in the early years remembered how the first office was actually in their home. The dedication of Fred and Toni is greatly appreciated by MCC because they laid the foundation for MCC work in the 14 years that Fred and 12 years that Toni served in MCC. Toni worked with Material Aid and SELFHELP Crafts. Near the end of their time with MCC, they were able to serve internationally in Nepal.
Two other executive directors, Ed Barkman and his wife Dorothy travelled from Steinbach, Manitoba and Werner Froese and his wife Susan travelled from B.C. to meet friends and reminisce about their time at MCCS. They remembered conversations about why MCC was not more involved in evangelism and the importance of visiting constituent churches. Hosting MCC guests in their homes was remembered fondly. International trips were also remembered as highlights. Ed served as executive director for three years before moving on to serve in MCC Canada. Werner served for six years before he returned to ministry in B.C.
John Elias, former board chairperson also shared from his leadership experience in MCCS. He served as chair for six years during a time when the work of MCC was re-visioned through the process known as New Wine/New Wineskins. In an effort to be more responsive to the ever changing cultural contexts in the 21st century, MCC developed a new vision statement and re-structured itself in service delivery around the globe. This was a time of professionalization of the work of MCC.
The current executive director, Claire Ewert Fisher spoke about the past six years of MCC and reminded us that we are walking on holy ground. Where God is is holy and God is present with us today. "Donors do not want MCC to compromise a critical value: MCC stands for Christ and Christ stands for peace and justice" - quote from donor research study. In an attempt to strengthen relationship with donor churches, Ewert Fisher has visited in 76 churches sharing the MCC stories and hearing the passion of the church communities.
Looking in to the future, Ewert Fisher sees the importance of relationship building with Indigenous peoples and acting like neighbours to each other; continued work with uprooted and vulnerable people meeting their basic human needs of food, water, peace and economic security; and the ever growing need to connect with church people and other constituents to share in the work of MCC.
We visited together, ate together and prayed for each other and the people with whom we meet as we travel the path known as holy ground.
Back to MCCS's 50th Anniversary - index Or; Jan: IVEP | Feb: Thrift Shop Movement | Mar: Canadian Foodgrains Bank| Apr: Ten Thousand Villages
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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
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