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Canadian pastor to chair MennoMedia board


Melissa Miller


Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia joint release
December 16, 2011
-Steve Shenk

WATERLOO, Ont. and HARRISONBURG, Va.—Melissa Miller, pastor of Springstein Mennonite Church southwest of Winnipeg, Man., will chair the eight-member bi-national board of MennoMedia, starting in January.

MennoMedia was formed last July from a merger of Mennonite Publishing Network in Scottdale, Pa., and Third Way Media in Harrisonburg. The new agency is a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

Miller will succeed Phil Bontrager, president and CEO of Sauder Manufacturing Company in Archbold, Ohio. He has been on the board (which previously served Mennonite Publishing Network) since 2003 and chaired the board since 2005.

The Christian Formation Council of Mennonite Church Canada appointed Miller to the MennoMedia board in October. Her appointment was ratified by the Mennonite Church Canada General Board in November. Miller was then appointed as board chair by the Joint Executive Committee of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

In addition to her duties as a pastor, Miller is a part-time counsellor at Recovery of Hope in Winnipeg. She also served on the Leadership Credentialing Committee of Mennonite Church Manitoba.

She has a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Waterloo as well as a master of divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

A native of Pennsylvania, Miller earned her undergraduate degree at Eastern Mennonite University.

She has lived in Canada since 1978 with her husband Dean Peachey. They lived in the Kitchener-Waterloo area until 2001, when they moved to Winnipeg. Her work over the years has included counselling, pastoring, mediation and conflict resolution, teaching, and writing.

Miller is known to many members of Mennonite Church Canada through her “Family Ties” column in Canadian Mennonite, which she has written for nine years. She served previously on the bi-national publication advisory board for Mennonite Women.

She authored a book for Herald Press, the book imprint of MennoMedia: Family Violence: The Compassionate Church Responds (1994). She co-authored, with Phil Shenk, The Path of Most Resistance (1982). She was also a writer for all six years of the Venture Club curriculum.

“Melissa loves the church and is intimately acquainted with its variety and diversity,” said Dave Bergen, Mennonite Church Canada Executive Minister, Formation.“She has considerable writing and editing experience and carries a deep appreciation for the role of print and multi-media resources in forming and sustaining the life and identity of the church. She is thoughtful, thorough, highly perceptive, and analytical and has a profound understanding of group processes and decision making.”

Said Miller: “I have benefited greatly from denominational resources as a church leader and in my own faith development. I look forward to working with the MennoMedia board and staff to continue to provide such resources.”

MennoMedia is a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.