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General Secretary resigns


Colleagues, council and board members surround Dan Nighswander in a circle of prayer support at Mennonite Church Canada’s Leadership Assembly in Winnipeg (March 3-5). Nighswander has chosen to resign from his role as general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada to more actively pursue “gifts which in this position I have had limited opportunity to exercise.”

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March 8, 2005
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Dan Nighswander, general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, has announced his intention to draw to a close his service in that capacity.

Although his current term ends in August of 2005, conversations between Nighswander and the General Board led to an agreement to extend his term until May 31, 2006. This extension will also include a six month sabbatical beginning Dec 1, 2005 during which he will work on writing the Believers Church Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians. Nighswander began his service as conference minister with the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, a predecessor to Mennonite Church Canada in 1997. In 1999 he was appointed general secretary.

In his resignation letter Nighswander wrote, “I have been richly blessed through these years of service to the church in this capacity. The opportunity to see up close what God is doing in our ministries, and the opportunity to help shape those ministries is a privilege beyond what I can express. I have learned more than I can name and have been enriched by experiences, personal growth, and relationships with many wonderful people across Canada and beyond.”

Henry Krause, moderator, said, “Dan has served well during a challenging shift from three bodies into one, and has a good handle on where energies need to be focused in the next little while,” referring to the integration process of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, the Mennonite Church, and the General Conference Mennonite Church, into Mennonite Church Canada.

Krause adds, “We continue to have confidence in Dan’s leadership and we anticipate a productive and creative time of service. We thank him for providing an enlarged window of opportunity for doing our envisioning work carefully.”

Nighswander said he, together with his wife Yvonne Snider Nighswander, wants to explore other possibilities for the next phase of his life, career, and ministry. “The schedule is somewhat flexible. There are ideas about where to direct my energy in the future, and gifts which in this position I have had limited opportunity to exercise. I remain subject to the Spirit’s leading as Yvonne and I discern where God will need that energy next.”

Nighswander will spend the next eight months continuing with his usual work and collaborating with the General Board on clarifying next steps for Mennonite Church Canada. A search committee has been struck and a leadership search will be initiated immediately.