Guengerich Represents MW USA at Mennonite World Conference General Council Meetings

Published in Mennonite World Review June 25, 2012

June 7, 2012 Newton, KS—“I am very grateful for the privilege of representing Mennonite Women USA at the Mennonite World Conference General Council meetings in Basel, Switzerland,” says Ruth Lapp Guengerich, co-director of Mennonite Women USA. In response to an invitation from Mennonite World Conference, MW USA sent Guengerich to the meetings to meet with Mennonite and Brethren in Christ church leaders from around the globe to explore ways to empower those leaders to help identify women who should be trained for church leadership. Guengerich shared information about the selection process for the International Women’s Fund (IWF), an MW USA program that provides scholarships for training women in church leadership, with African Anabaptist Women Theologians, Latin American Women theologians, and other church leaders from other parts of the world. Most important to Guengerich was the privilege of meeting many women who have received IWF funds and are actively serving the church in their home countries: “They are leading in many different ways, but they are all serving because of their faith and commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This trip was made possible by contributions from family and friends who generously responded to an invitation to support this important opportunity. In addition to the highlights of meeting women from all regions of the global church, Guengerich participated in celebrations that were highlights of the week: installation of the new MWC executive secretary Cesar Garcia of Bogota, Colombia; the celebration of the Global History Project nearing completion; a farewell celebration for former MWC executive director Larry Miller, who served in that role for 22 years; and the election of Nelson Kraybill as president-elect of MWC, to follow current president Danisa Ndlovu, Zimbabwe. “I felt like I was a part of history in the making,” Guengerich said as she recalled the excitement of the celebrations, and the tension in the air, as the delegates and observers waited for the counting of the ballots for the president-elect position. “It was moving to worship with this global body of church leaders, heartwarming to walk hand-in-hand with a pastor’s wife from India, because we share much in common as pastors’ spouses, and inspiring to sit with women theologians as they recounted their history as an organization. My life and perspective have changed and broadened to include many new friends,” Guengerich reflected with gratitude. “God is so good.”

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