Timbrel Announces New Editor

Originally published in The Mennonite February 2013 and Mennonite World Review January 2013 with varying titles.

MC USA constituency group Mennonite Women USA is pleased to announce that Claire DeBerg of Minneapolis, Minn., has been appointed editor of Timbrel, following the resignation of Patricia Wells Burdette.

DeBerg, an active member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Minneapolis, is a graduate of Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn., and of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

DeBerg has extensive experience as project manager for numerous websites, as copywriter and copyeditor, and as a writing instructor at the University of Northern Iowa. She is a published writer of poetry and prose and a musician.

DeBerg says, “All facets of Mennonite Women USA’s mission inspire me, especially at this time of technological advancements in the midst of a long-established Anabaptist faith tradition. It begs the question: How do Mennonite Women USA publications maintain relevancy during exponential change in how we communicate via media?

“In particular, I am drawn to the notion of ‘… empowering women as we nurture our life in Christ through … hearing each other.’ I firmly believe Christ modeled the ultimate example of a ‘hearer’ when he listened to the people in his community and then continued the conversation by offering insights into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Ruth Lapp Guengerich, MW USA co-director, noted that DeBerg has demonstrated research skills as well as creative writing, website design and management, and a desire to connect more broadly with Mennonite Church USA.

“Her organizational skills combined with her creative and visionary skills are what MW USA needs as we consider the future of print media for the next decade,” says Guengerich. “Her energy, creativity and experience will bring new vision and direction for MW USA publications.”

DeBerg begins her assignment in January 2013.

Patricia Wells Burdette completed her work as Mennonite Women USA editor at the end of 2012. Burdette served for four and a half years as editor, during which time she produced the bi-monthly magazine, Timbrel; wrote numerous articles and news releases regarding the work of Mennonite Women USA; and assisted with other writing for the organization.

Readers’ responses to Timbrel were enthusiastically positive as Burdette invited writers to explore themes of women in leadership, clothing and faith, loneliness, human trafficking: modern slavery, hospitality, and spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer.

Many readers’ hearts were touched by the candid writing of women from across the church and around the world, including women of many different ethnicities and colors.

Prior to her work as editor, Burdette served on the Mennonite Women USA board of directors as Editorial Advisory Council representative from 2004 to 2007.

Rhoda Keener, MW USA co-director and former executive director for 11 years, says, “Patty has served the women of the church in many capacities with MW USA—as a leader for the Ohio Conference Mennonite Women, on our board, and as editor. I have appreciated Patty’s deep passion for the needs of women and advocacy for women’s issues and her desire to give voice to women’s stories.”

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