ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has created a new role focused on racial/ethnic engagement and announced several other staff transitions. Sue Park-Hur, the denominational minister of Transformative Peacemaking, will become director of racial/ethnic engagement. This new position was created to work with the various racial/ethnic entities within MC USA, support the program agencies in this work and help denominational leaders to define MC USA diversity, equity and inclusion goals, standards, and desired outcomes.
“I hope we can live deeper into the Renewed Commitments for MC USA that envisions ‘the Spirit to empower our communities to embody the grace, joy, and peace of the gospel’ not only outwardly but inwardly as a denominational body,” said Park-Hur. “My new role will focus on building stronger internal relationships between racial/ethnic groups and our agencies. This does not happen naturally; clear communication of needs and intentional plans and goals are necessary to make this possible,” she added. Park-Hur begins her new role in April 2022.
A former co-lead pastor and co-church planter, Park-Hur’s passion is to see the church living out the shalom of the gospel. Park-Hur is a Qualified Administer of the Intercultural Development Inventory, an assessment tool that measures intercultural competence – the ability to engage effectively and appropriately with people who are different than ourselves, and is a Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience practitioner. She attends Pasadena Mennonite Church in Pasadena, California.
Park-Hur will also lead the Hope for the Future conference, a gathering that brings together leaders of color from across the church to explore the ways that power, privilege and racism function in our denomination.
“Our hope is that this [new role] will provide more support for the racial/ethnic groups and the Racial/Ethnic Council,” said Iris de León-Hartshorn, associate executive director of MC USA. “We also hope that it will help to facilitate more connection between our agencies and the racial/ethnic groups of the church, as well as continue to increase and grow intercultural work. I know Sue will do a great job,” she said.
MC USA has also appointed Rachel Ringenberg Miller as denominational minister of ministerial leadership. Ringenberg Miller will engage conferences and congregations, providing a variety of resources and services to meet the diverse demands facing congregations today.
“We need an experienced pastor, who understands denominational and conference processes,” said Michael Danner, associate executive director of Church Vitality. “Ringenberg Miller has that background and experience, with the bonus of bringing a fresh perspective as an excellent communicator,” he added.
Ringenberg Miller graduated from Goshen College, in Goshen, Indiana, and Eastern Mennonite Seminary, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with an MDiv. She served as associate pastor for Portland Mennonite Church in Portland, Oregon, and as former lead pastor of Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas.
“It’s a delight to join the Church Vitality team of MC USA,” said Ringenberg Miller. “I am very much looking forward to offering support to ministers as they transition into congregational ministry settings. I am also excited to build and develop relationships across MC USA,” she said.
MC USA also recently welcomed Rod Hollinger-Janzen as administrative assistant for Church Vitality. Hollinger-Janzen manages the denomination’s pastoral calling system, known as the Ministerial Leadership Information (MLI) process. In collaboration with conference offices, he also maintains the database records for credentialed leaders.
“Rod has a love for the church and a love for leaders and has been able to pick up our system really quickly, engaging the ministers and people seeking to complete their MLI with compassion, empathy and an attention to detail,” said Danner.
Hollinger-Janzen previously served as executive coordinator for Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. He is an Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary graduate and attends Waterford Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.
“I’ve been really impressed by the quality of people on the MC USA staff, providing leadership in the church or those who are moving into roles of leadership within the church,” said Hollinger-Janzen. They are loving the people around them and encouraging them in such tremendous ways, and so I feel privileged in this position to get to know them,” he added.
(MC USA), is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 58 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. mennoniteUSA.org