MCC Plans For Change

Current models for change "set in gelatin"

by Celeste Kennel-Shank for Meetinghouse

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is changing how it does its work but not the work itself. That’s how Arli Klassen, MCC executive director, describes MCC’s process of streamlining and shifting areas of responsibility among its member organizations. Klassen shared the current models for those changes—which she says are set in gelatin—at the June 11-12 meeting of MCC’s binational delegate body. MCC is an Anabaptist peace, relief and service agency.

Since January, a joint board team, with representatives from the MCC U.S., Canada and binational boards, has been providing overall leadership to design and transition teams that are proposing changes. They are basing their ideas on MCC’s New Wine consultations, which involved more than 2,000 people from 50 countries and finished in June 2009.

One of the teams’ ideas is to shift much of the binational organization’s work to MCC U.S. and MCC Canada. MCC would create a council to coordinate strategic planning and decide which proportion of funds different continents and programs would receive. It would receive authority from its member agencies. The joint board team is proposing that MCC Canada and MCC U.S. operate the international program together. The teams are receiving feedback and will seek full approval in 2011 from all of the boards for proposed changes. MCC expects most major changes to happen in 2012.

In the midst of these changes, MCC is looking at what it means to be global beyond the fact that it works in 60 countries. MCC is one of 30 service agencies participating in the Global Anabaptist Service Consultation Aug. 6-9 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event explores the level of interest in developing a global service forum, network or other entity of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) member churches and related groups. MWC is a global Anabaptist fellowship.