Mennonite Church Canada logo
News » Releases » New editors aim to help people engage with God’s story, make faith practical

New editors aim to help people engage with God’s story, make faith practical


Carol Duerksen

Image of Sharon K. WIlliams
Sharon K. Williams


Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Publishing Joint Release
October 2, 2009
-John Longhurst

WATERLOO, Ont. — Sharon K. Williams believes that Bible study is an important part of Christian life and discipleship. That’s why she’s looking forward to her new assignment as editor of Adult Bible Study, produced by Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN).

For Carol Duerksen, being named editor of Purpose magazine is an “exciting opportunity to help people find ways to make their faith practical for their daily lives.”

Williams and Duerksen replace the retiring James E. Horsch, who has edited Adult Bible Study and Purpose since 1984. They begin their new assignments in October.

“Studying the Bible with fellow believers in the faith community is an important spiritual discipline for Anabaptists,” says Williams. “My goal is to assist leaders and Bible study groups as they engage with God’s story and vision, challenging their personal lives and congregational mission.”

Williams, of Norristown, Pa., holds a double degree in Christian education and music from Messiah College and a Masters of Divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She has served two co-pastorates and as a conference staff person for Franconia Mennonite Conference, and currently is the Minister of Worship at Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church. She is also a member of the congregation’s Stand Together Ministry Team, which works at deepening the congregation’s understanding of anti-racism and cultural bias to strengthen the church’s mission.

Duerksen, a member of the Tabor Mennonite Church, edited With magazine for 18 years, and is a writer and editor for Gather 'Round, as well as other Christian education curriculum. She is the co-author with her husband, Maynard Knepp, of nine self-published Amish novels and two children's books, and also co-authored a devotional book, Now It Springs Up, along with Michele Hershberger and Laurie Oswald Robinson.

“My hope is that Purpose will be able to share many stories and poems that are both lively and inspirational, and that a variety of readers will grow in their faith and consider their time well-spent with this little magazine,” she says, adding that “a story is the best way to make a lesson for life memorable.”

Adult Bible Study provides a quarterly study of the Bible from an Anabaptist perspective. Lessons are based on the International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching by the Committee on the Uniform Series. In addition to weekly lessons, Adult Bible Study also offers daily Bible readings, a weekly online essay and suggested resources for additional study.

Founded in 1968, Purpose is a monthly magazine that features inspirational articles, illustrations, and verse that encourage Christians in their daily walk with Christ, along with regular columns on food, peace, humour, and resources for faithful living.

For more information about Adult Bible Study, visit For more information about Purpose, visit MPN can also be reached by phone at 1-800-245-7894 (U.S) or 1-800-631-6535 (Canada).

Mennonite Publishing Network is the publishing agency of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, providing materials that equip the church to experience and share the gospel from an Anabaptist perspective.