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Nighswander bids goodbye


Dan Nighswander and Yvonne Snider-Nighswander

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November 14, 2005
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Staff, family, and General Board members presented Dan Nighswander, outgoing general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, and Yvonne Snider-Nighswander, with an original painting of an African women by artist Ray Dirks. “I was wondering where this painting had disappeared to,” quipped Nighswander, noting that the admired artwork had recently been on display in a conference room.

Four former general secretaries, three former conference ministers and the General Board (in conjunction with fall meetings) also attended the event.

Helmut Harder preceded Nighswander as General Secretary. He described each of their roles as ascending the mountain (Harder played a lead role in preparing the stage for the integration of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, General Conference Church and the Mennonite Church), while Nighswander “helped Mennonite Church Canada begin its descent down the other side… You helped bind together east and west. Dan and Yvonne, we appreciate your sacrificial gesture in that respect.

Harder added, “Dan led with a steady hand and with quiet, sometimes even hidden, enthusiasm.”

An ethnic meal helped prepare the couple for their next role as Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in South Africa. They plan to begin their new work in August, 2006, after Nighswander completes work on the Believer’s Church commentary on 1 Corinthians.

In closing remarks Nighswander cited Ephesians 5:25 (“…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”) and said, “If there is anything left to think about as a lasting memory, I hope you will remember me as one who followed Christ also in this, that I loved the church.”