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Nighswander re-appointed as General Secretary

   
 
Dan Nighswander
   

Winnipeg, Man.—Dan Nighswander’s leadership as General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada was affirmed with a round of applause at Saskatoon 2002, where outgoing moderator Ron Sawatsky announced the general board’s decision to re-appoint him for a second three-year term.

Nighswander has served the church in this role since 1999, helping to lead the transformation of a new Canadian Mennonite denomination formed through the joining of the Mennonite Church and General Conference.

Joy Kroeger, Assistant Moderator for Mennonite Church Canada, said the General Board has "really valued Dan’s leadership, his ability to keep the big picture in focus as we’ve developed new structures for Mennonite Church Canada."

Reflecting on the transformation process, Nighswander said "As program responsibilities have shifted from bi-national to national organizations there has been a lot of satisfaction for Canadians in being able to shape ministries and staff them in a way that makes sense in our context."

Asked what issues Mennonite Church Canada will face in the next three years, Nighswander noted the challenge of "maintaining a balance between regional loyalties and a national vision." He also identified multiculturalism as a major growth area.

Kroeger also cited Nighswander’s passion and enthusiasm for the missional church. "It brings a lot of excitement to the office; it brings a lot of excitement to the constituency."

"The vision for a church that is missional needs refinement and implementation," said Nighswander. "We are beginning to identify how God is calling us to change who we are, what we do and how we do it."

Henry Krause, whose appointment as Moderator also came at annual assembly, is "very pleased" with Nighswander’s re-appointment. "Dan brings a love of the church, a pastor’s heart, a good sense of humour and solid experience with him as he continues to serve our churches."

Asked what motivates him in his work, Nighswander said "I am richly blessed to be surrounded by staff, elected officers and church members who share my belief that the church is relevant to people’s needs and vital to God’s intentions."