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Heeding God’s call

   
 
   

Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Church Eastern Canada joint release
September 17, 2010
-Lisa Williams

Winnipeg, Man. — Why would Willard Metzger leave a position with World Vision to move into the role of General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada? His response to that question was immediate and simple – obedience to God’s call.

Accepting the new role involved an intense discernment process. The prospect of relocating to Winnipeg, Man. from Drayton, Ont. was a serious discussion point for Metzger and his wife Lois, who have worked diligently to integrate their son Matthew, born with Downs Syndrome, into the mainstream school system and community. The idea of uprooting Matthew, now twenty-one, from the community that has embraced him was unfathomable. So, with Metzger’s acceptance of the General Secretary role, arrangements were made to ensure that the Metzger family was able to remain in Drayton.

“It will take creativity and commitment to make this arrangement work but with the strong, committed staff at Mennonite Church Canada, I am confident that we can make it work,” Metzger said.

During the recent Mennonite Church Canada Assembly in Calgary, Metzger responded to the affirmation he received from the church body regarding his new role. “I can sense the discernment and calling of the broader church and have confidence that if God has spoken through the people of God, I will be equipped with what I need to embrace this new responsibility.”

He continued, “I don’t have all the gifts that the church requires. As General Secretary, I want to call forth all gifts into action and strengthen a sense of call. I want to call the gifts forth from our children and junior youth and help them to recognize that the church is worth giving their lives to. I want to call the theologians into action, as well as the business persons and entrepreneurs. As an expression of love to God, we offer our gifts to God – to the church – because God has given those gifts to us for the strengthening of the church. If you are a part of the church we need your gifts. The church should never be in need because God has already supplied all the gifts required for this day and for this time.”

Metzger expressed excitement about the future of Mennonite Church Canada. “I long to see the Mennonite denomination strengthened and am called to do my part in the big picture. The heroes of the Bible were able to see the big picture and pray for the fruition of God’s vision for their children or grandchildren, content to believe in God’s word even though they may not see the end result. It’s freeing when you release the expectations. My job is to obey and bring the gifts that I have to the church while empowering those around me to do the same. If we all do this, who knows what God will be able to accomplish! Strength and renewal will come. It may or may not come in my generation or even my children’s generation; but it will come. That’s exciting!”

Metzger begins his ministry as General Secretary on November 1st. “You can never be happy outside of God’s will,” he concludes. “There is no safer place than doing what God wants you to do.”