Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) will be experiencing several staff transitions in the coming weeks and months.
Jennifer Castro has accepted a position at the Martinez Street Women’s Center in San Antonio, Texas, as director of programs. She has served with MC USA as the coordinator of Women in Leadership (WIL) and communications associate since 2015. Her work has included coordinating several Women Doing Theology conferences and the Menno Snapshots blog. Her last day was May 17.
“Jenny has contributed vital work for the church through coordinating Women in Leadership, the Menno Snapshots blog, the Holding it(,) Together podcast and working on sexual abuse response and prevention,” says Janie Beck Kreider, MC USA director of communications. “Under her leadership, these projects blossomed and enriched us all. We will miss Jenny and her incredible gifts of passion, integrity, vision and creativity.”
Says Castro, “I am grateful for the patience I’ve been afforded to learn and stretch and grow in my faith and as a leader through my work with Women in Leadership. I’ve been inspired by the strength and brilliance of the women I’ve been able to work with on the WIL steering committee, on the MC USA staff and more broadly across the church. We have created a sacred thing together. As editor of the Menno Snapshots blog, I’ve been honored to connect with so many people across MC USA and offer a home to your stories of faith and inspiration. Through your stories, we’ve been able to catch snippets of God’s movement all over church over the last several years. God has worked wonders in and through faithful folks across MC USA. Thanks for sharing your stories—vulnerably, authentically.”
Ron Tinsley will end his position with MC USA communications on July 31. Since 2016, Tinsley has served as graphic designer, creating a wide variety of design projects, project logos and resources for MC USA. He designed the visual identity for two Mennonite conventions and developed the layout for the exhibit hall. He has maintained his freelance branding and design business, Prophetik Soul, while working with MC USA, and he plans to continue doing research, branding and design work for Mennonite agencies, other nonprofits, socially responsible businesses and social enterprises. He also plans to teach college classes, write and do presentations about graphic design, visual culture and youth development.
“I appreciated seeing the commitment to high-quality writing, branding and design at the executive level in MC USA,” says Tinsley. “This is not common in denominational structures. It allowed me to grow and contribute to the ongoing mission of MC USA.”
Says Beck Kreider, “Ron’s creative spark and artistic talent have been an asset to the communications department these last three years. This iteration of our team collaborated to produce so many quality pieces with the guidance of Ron’s artistic eye. He brought projects to life through his vibrant and inspiring visual ideas. We wish Ron well as he continues his work as a graphic artist.”
Eva Lapp will end her time with the MC USA Archives on July 31. Since she began as the part-time archives assistant in September 2018, Lapp has provided reference assistance for patrons, arranged and described records for multiple collections and cataloged collections online. This fall, she will begin the Master of Public Affairs program at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
“Over the last year, Eva organized and cataloged several key collections that are now available to researchers,” says Jason Kauffman, director of MC USA archives and record management. “I appreciated Eva’s quick ability to learn new things, her attention to detail and the welcoming presence she provided for researchers. We’ll miss her here at the Archives, but we wish her the best as she furthers her education in graduate school.”
Says Lapp, “Working at the Archives has given me a glimpse into the inner workings of the church as a complex and constantly changing community, as well as the lived experiences of individuals connecting through Anabaptist faith traditions. Whether stumbling across courtship letters from the early 1900s or photographs from all around the world or my own mother’s baptism record from her home church, I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring and cataloging collections to help preserve the historical record of Anabaptist communities. We learn from our history by sharing our stories. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jason, as we preserve these stories as a way of seeing where we’ve come from and where we could be going.”
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