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Suderman on study leave


Dec 28, 2004
-by Dan Dyck


Winnipeg, Man.— Jack (Robert) Suderman, executive secretary, Mennonite Church Canada Witness, will be on professional development leave from January 1 through mid-April.

During this time he will research two seemingly diverse topics: missional church ecclesiology and leadership, and organizational program evaluation. The objective is to return with the guidance congregations and the Christian Witness council is asking for.

Suderman says this is an appropriate time to develop the tools required for the church’s next steps in its missional life. “There are requests from congregations on my desk and those of our congregational partnership staff that deserve significant attention,” he said. “The desire expressed by church leaders to delve deeply and profoundly into missional church life is very encouraging.”

In addition, the Witness Council, which provides overall leadership to Witness ministries, is asking for tools to assess various ministry programs on a routine basis to help determine how best to focus financial resources and the energies of staff. “We want to ensure that our efforts are being optimized to the maximum extent possible in all areas of our ministry,” said Suderman. “That includes ongoing and regular evaluation of all our ministries.”

Suderman will make room for some previously scheduled events, such as a one week Learning Tour and a second week of Leadership Training in Cuba. Janet Plenert, currently the executive director of International Ministries, will fill Suderman’s shoes as Acting Executive Secretary of Witness until his return.

Suderman has 25 years of experience in denominational work, with the last 8.5 years with Mennonite Church Canada, and its predecessor, the Conference of Mennonites in Canada.