Board of The Mennonite to seek an interim editor

Search process for a new leader established

By Joanna Shenk

Elkhart, Ind. (Mennonite Church USA)— The board of directors of The Mennonite, Inc., has decided to launch a search process for an interim editor for The Mennonite, the denominational publication of Mennonite Church USA, and its related web and social media channels.

According Barth Hague, board chair, the interim editor will function as the organization’s CEO, overseeing administration, giving leadership to staff and editorial content, maintaining close working relationships with denominational leaders and continuing to guide the transition of the magazine into the digital age.

The Mennonite’s current editor and CEO, Everett J. Thomas, sent a letter of resignation on Aug. 1 with an effective date of Jan. 31, 2014; he has served since November 2000. Board policy stipulates that the editor give six months’ notice when resigning.

According to Hague, Thomas is leaving the organization in good fiscal and operational health. During Thomas’ tenure as editor, Hague says, “The Mennonite has grown from a print magazine to a content distribution system for Mennonite Church USA.”

Readership for the magazine, its two e-zines, website and Facebook page has grown to more than 37,000.

Hague and the board anticipate a strong transition to new leadership.

“This transition comes at a time when the board is grappling with the challenges of information distribution in light of new digital technologies,” he says. “Our new interim editor will bring significant influence to that process and will be instrumental in helping The Mennonite chart a course for the future.”

According to a classified ad, the board is looking for a seasoned editor and leader, with broad experience in writing for publication, supervising staff and creative personnel, managing financial affairs and strategic planning. He/she will possess a strong familiarity with Mennonite Church USA, its structure, congregations and history, and will have hands-on experience using the web and social media to meet organizational goals.

The assignment will be for up to two years, a timeline established by the board. The interim editor could also be a candidate for the editor role.

The search committee consists of Marty Lehman, Mennonite Church USA’s associate executive director for churchwide operations, and four board officers: Hague, who is from Newton, Kan.; Gerald Mast, vice chair, Bluffton, Ohio; Steve Edwards, treasurer, Goshen, Ind.; and Sheri Wenger, secretary, Lancaster, Pa. Hague chairs the search committee.

On Sept. 9, the board voted by email to set a search schedule that has the committee beginning to review applicants and interview candidates on Nov. 11 and the full board meeting via conference call in December to approve the final candidate. Mennonite Church USA bylaws stipulate that the Executive Board also approve the appointment.

The committee plans to accept applications until the position is filled.

The job description can be found on the Mennonite Church USA website. Applicants are directed to send a cover letter and resumé to Marty Lehman, Mennonite Church USA, martyl@mennoniteusa.org, by Nov. 11, 2013. Candidates selected for consideration will be asked to supply references and writing samples.

The Mennonite, Inc., is an Indiana not-for-profit corporation responsible for publishing The Mennonite. Mennonite Church USA bylaws require the corporation to be a “self-supporting entity,” and it receives no funding through the Mennonite Church USA firstfruits system.

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