Shine: Living in God’s Light looking for curriculum writers

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Shine: Living in God’s Light, the Sunday school curriculum produced by MennoMedia and Brethren Press, is accepting applications for curriculum writers. The curriculum is for children age three through grade 8.  Accepted writers must attend a Writers Conference in Virginia, March 2-5, 2017. Shine pays for meals and lodging during the conference and covers reasonable travel expenses.

More details are available at www.ShineCurriculum.com/writers. Application and sample session deadline is December 1, 2016.

Joan Daggett to serve as new project director for Shine children’s curriculum

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Joan Daggett, new project director for Shine

May 12, 2016
News release

Joan Daggett to serve as new project director for Shine children’s curriculum
Current project director Rose Stutzman retires June 30

HARRISONBURG, Va., ELGIN, Ill., and KITCHENER, Ont.—Joan Daggett of Bridgewater, Virginia, has accepted the position of project director for Shine: Living in God’s Light, children’s Sunday school curriculum produced by MennoMedia and Brethren Press.

Daggett is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and was a writer for the Jubilee curriculum and a trainer for Gather ’Round, both also copublished by MennoMedia and Brethren Press.

Since 2011, Daggett has been executive director at the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg. From 1998 to 2011, Daggett was associate district executive at the Shenandoah District of the Church of the Brethren. In those years, she coached congregations on matters related to Christian education, faith formation, nurture, and discipleship, and provided staff support for the Disaster Ministries Auction. She also led numerous curriculum trainings during her time with the Shenandoah District.

“Christian education and discipleship formation have been my passion and calling in life,” said Daggett in accepting the position.

Before 1998, Daggett was director of Christian education in a Presbyterian church and a copastor in a Church of the Brethren congregation. She is a graduate of Bridgewater College and Bethany Theological Seminary, and has a certificate in nonprofit management from North Park University. The search committee named Daggett’s experience working with previous curriculum projects, ordination, and additional education in nonprofit management as being beneficial in the role of project director for Shine.

Amy Gingerich, editorial director for MennoMedia, commented, “We are excited to bring Joan’s passion for sharing about Christian formation to the Shine team.”

“Joan is also especially strong in building relationships with congregations,” says Wendy McFadden, publisher of Brethren Press. “She brings exceptional experience to this position.”

Daggett will work out of the Harrisonburg office of MennoMedia as project director and will begin full-time later this summer.

Rose Stutzman, writer for MennoMedia. Stutzman works from the Elkhart office.

Rose Stutzman, retiring project director for Shine and other publishing work.

Rose Stutzman is retiring June 30 as project director for Shine. Stutzman led the team that developed the Shine curriculum through conceptualization, implementation, and launch from 2013 to 2016. She also served as Gather ’Round editor from 2006 through 2014.

Prior to her work with Gather ’Round, Stutzman and her husband, Mervin, served with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Kenya, where she was an elementary school teacher. Additionally, she worked at Mennonite Publishing House from 1995 to 2002 as an editor and director of Faith & Life Resources.

MennoMedia, the publishing agency serving Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, and Brethren Press, publishing house of the Church of the Brethren, have been publishing curriculum together for many years, earning high marks for Shine, Gather ’Round, and Jubilee, all Sunday school curricula for children.

MennoMedia Staff
High resolution photos available.

For more information on this press release:
Melodie Davis
News manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

An Astounding Reversal: Anabaptism’s Gifts

By Melissa Miller

One of the greatest blessings I count is to have grown up in a Christian Anabaptist family. My father was a Church of the Brethren pastor, who served congregations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In the late 19th century, my mother’s ancestors founded the church of my childhood, Raven Run Church of the Brethren, nestled up against a wooded Pennsylvania hill beside a little run of a creek. From both my parents, and from the churches we attended, I learned the way of Jesus, of peace, of community and service.

After studying at Eastern Mennonite College (now University) where I met my husband, I relocated to Ontario and made a home with Mennonites. That second Anabaptist church family is where I remain today, another blessing in my life. All that to say: I am an Anabaptist through and through, with a world view and values system imbibed at my parents’ table and chosen as a young adult. The Anabaptist lens by which to understand God and Christian faith continues to make sense to me.dirk willems

What a humble joy then to encounter these words in a current historical account of the Reformation. Author Thomas Cahill writes, “The Anabaptists … became in time the Mennonites, the Bruderhof, the Quakers. Though universally despised in the early modern period, persecuted, and often drowned by both Catholics and Protestants, their main reforms … (including) a heightened sense of community, compassion for the poor, prison reform, elimination of the death penalty, refusal to take up arms, (and) peacemaking – are now ideals of almost all their former persecutors … From a historical point of view, this is an astounding reversal.” (Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World; Publisher, Nan A. Talese, 2013, p. 306.)

Heretics bookWe may quibble with Cahill’s pairing of Anabaptists (a term originally meaning re-baptized) and Quakers (who do not practice baptism), but the deep appreciation he expresses for previously scorned and persecuted radical reformers is compelling. It is encouragement for MennoMedia to pursue its mission to “create resources for living Christian faith from an Anabaptist perspective”. We have inherited the vision that the radical reformers birthed through struggle and blood. Then, as now, it is a vision the world desperately needs. May we be true to our calling to live out and speak of the vision of following Jesus in peace, simplicity, justice and community.

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Where does your own call and vision as a Christian come from? We’d love to hear!

Resources related to “call” can be found here.

MennoMedia copublishes it’s well known and loved children curricula series with the Church of the Brethren, currently Shine: Living in God’s Light, used by various Anabaptist or Anabaptist-leaning groups.

MelissaMillerPorchSwingEditedMelissa Miller lives in Winnipeg, pastors Springstein Mennonite Church, and is secretary of the MennoMedia board.