Mennonite Church USA ‘Church Vitality’ office to strengthen focus on peacemaking

(Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA has renamed its Leadership Development office “Church Vitality” to better reflect its focus on helping congregations to thrive.

“All of our work is around helping churches thrive,” said Michael Danner, MC USA associate director of Church Vitality and Engagement. “Church Vitality is broader and represents the purpose of our work more clearly.”

Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA

Sue Park-Hur became MC USA’s denominational minister of Transformative Peacemaking in August. In this role, she serves as a liaison, connector and coordinator for transformative peacemaking initiatives. This includes coordinating MC USA’s Women in Leadership, as well as anti-racism and intercultural competency initiatives, alternatives to military service and engaging with partners like Peace and Justice Support Network, Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Disaster Service. She resources conference ministers and leaders to strengthen their capacity and engagement in transformative peacemaking. Park-Hur began her previous leadership role with MC USA in March 2018.

“I’m really excited about focusing my time and energy on transformative peacemaking work of the denomination,” said Park-Hur. “It is at the core of our Mennonite identity and the center of our work as a church — to be witness to Christ’s peace. To integrate Women in Leadership in my new role also reaffirms that we value the significant work of women to equip and lead in the work of peace.”

Sandra Shenk Lapp, Mennonite Church USA

Sandra Shenk Lapp became Conference Services coordinator in August. She manages the pastoral calling system of MC USA, Ministerial Leadership Information (MLI) process and the day-to-day operations of the Church Vitality office. She is a resource for those interested in learning more about the pastoral calling process and works closely with conference offices as they work with congregations for credentialing or search processes. Previously part-time, this full-time position expands Shenk Lapp’s office manager role that she has served in since Jan. 2018.

“I am privileged to work with people as they discern their call to ministry,” said Shenk Lapp. “I find that my own commitment to MC USA is strengthened as I engage with new and continuing pastors and learn about their spiritual journeys and the breadth of leadership gifts they bring to the church.”