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MCC Executive Director Arli Klassen

MCC Executive Director Arli Klassen

MCC begins reshaping process

Pauline Boldt
June 18, 2008

WINNIPEG, Man. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) embarked on a process of reshaping itself for the future with a meeting in Waterloo, Ont., June 11 to 12.

The process, called "New Wine/New Wineskins: Reshaping MCC for the 21st Century," will engage MCC constituents, mission partners and board and staff members worldwide to create a common vision and revised structure for MCC.

Over the next 13 months, MCC’s Inquiry Task Force, which met for the first time in Waterloo, will listen to MCC stakeholders in summits and regional meetings internationally and in Canada and the United States. The task force comprises 34 people from five countries and includes Mennonite World Conference representatives and other mission partners, leaders of MCC-supporting denominations, and MCC board and staff representatives. MCC Executive Director Arli Klassen leads the process.

New Wine/New Wineskins uses the principles of "Appreciative Inquiry," an organizational development process that engages individuals within an organization in its renewal. "Despite coming from different cultures and backgrounds and having different theological perspectives, the ITF members found common ground by sharing their experiences and visions for MCC in the meeting," Klassen said.

MCC will ask three core questions through New Wine/New Wineskins, according to Klassen. They center on MCC purpose, accountability and structure. "This process of discerning God’s direction for MCC has the potential to increase MCC’s impact around the world," Klassen said.

She emphasized the importance of widespread participation. In addition to those who are part of the summits and meetings, other interested people may share ideas and keep up to date on the discussion via a special section on the MCC Web site. This will be active by the time of the first summit, July 28 to 30, in the Philippines in conjunction with a Mennonite World Conference meeting. People may register to be notified of new posts by sending an e-mail message to NewWineskins@mcc.org.

Klassen said MCC decided to undertake the New Wine/New Wineskins process to build on its strengths. "The process is being kept in perspective with our ongoing work, which continues with our usual commitment and energy. As always, we ask that you keep MCC in your prayers," Klassen said.