Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Board (EB) staff announces current staff transitions:
Scott Hartman has been promoted to director of Building Operations for the Elkhart, Indiana, offices of Mennonite Church USA effective Aug. 1. Hartman has been a long-time staff member, working with convention planning, building issues and other projects.
“We wanted to recognize and compensate Scott for his excellent work and the leadership he has shown in the Elkhart building,” said Glen Guyton, chief operating officer and director of Convention Planning for Mennonite Church USA. “Scott did an excellent job helping to lead the Mennonite Church USA Archives remodel, and he has long been the go-to guy in the building.”
Hartman’s main responsibilities will include serving as the primary Executive Board (EB) staff representative in the Elkhart building—which houses a variety of Mennonite-related agencies—for all building life and operational issues; chairing the building management team in Elkhart; advising the executive director and chief operating officer on issues related to the Elkhart building; and managing staff requests related to EB use of office space in the Elkhart building.
Rachel Gerber, denominational minister of Christian Formation, will complete her service with EB staff on July 31. She has served in this role since early 2014. Her work included the establishment of The Gathering Place, an interactive website for Anabaptist youth leaders to find connection, resourcing, networking, mentoring and spiritual formation.
“I am choosing to be at home with my three young boys in this next season of life—a continuation of faith formation for sure!” Gerber says. “I found much pleasure in creating The Gathering Place and forming connections and networks with faith formation leaders from across the denomination by exploring new limits of digital connection and resourcing.”
Terry Shue, director of Leadership Development for Mennonite Church USA, says, “Rachel’s experience as a youth pastor and her passion for Christian formation have been a very good match for her role with us over these nearly four years. Her work stands as an example of how to connect our leaders, create community and learn together in very cost-effective ways. Rachel will be missed in her role with us, but I am sure that there are exciting and meaningful tasks that God has in store for her in days to come.”
John Stoltzfus, current chair of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team (a denominational council for youth and faith formation initiatives), will become the new editor of The Gathering Place (TGP). Moving forward, TGP will connect more closely with the Anabaptist Faith Formation Network (a comprehensive Anabaptist curation of digital formation resources across the life cycle) by providing webinars via video conferencing four times per year: two in the fall and two in the spring. Webinars scheduled this fall include “Baptism and Youth,” led by Michele Hershberger and “I Said Yes to Being a Youth Sponsor — Now What?” with a panel of conference youth leaders.
Walt Wiltschek, news editor, will complete his service with Mennonite Church USA this month. He has served in the role since September 2016, working primarily with the “Love is a Verb” campaign, pieces for Mennonite Education Agency and doing work related to the 2017 convention in Orlando, as well as publishing the denomination’s news service.
“It has been good to serve the church in this season, but I have felt a call to return to more hands-on work in ministry and education following the end of the convention cycle,” says Wiltschek, an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. “I plan to find ways to keep a hand in journalism and writing work on the side to continue engaging those interests.”
“Walt’s excellent writing, editing and journalism skills have been an asset to the communications team in a challenging season of news for Mennonite Church USA,” says Janie Beck Kreider, director of Communications. “His grounding, pastoral presence will serve him well as a minister, and we wish him well as he pursues his calling.”