By Melissa Miller
Earlier this month, I joined my husband and a couple of friends for a few days of camping in the Canadian wilderness. (Nopiming Provincial Park, Manitoba, to be precise.) We canoed the lakes and hiked the trails, fed the mosquitoes and ate the fish we caught. We woke to the call of the loons, and at night, tucked into our tents under a splash of starry lights. A short vacation packed with gratitude for God’s beautiful world and offering deep peace and relaxation.
On one island, we found a mass of blueberry bushes, loaded with plump juicy fruit. The plentiful sunshine and rain this summer likely contributed to the plants’ productivity, and the island’s isolation meant no humans (or bears) had harvested before us. We gathered lots of berries, eating some and carrying more back to our site, to add to the evening’s bannock. Another example of how God provides – abundantly.
Abundance and scarcity have been on the minds of MennoMedia board members recently. One of the results of a self-assessment inventory that we completed in the spring identified shortages on the board. We find ourselves wanting to add skills in the areas of new technologies competence, board governance, and financial management. At the same time, we are grateful for the skills and gifts present in the current board.
Recently I sat down with Hilda Hildebrand, moderator of MC Canada and a member of the Joint Executive Committee, which has responsibility for managing the relationship between MennoMedia and our two denominations, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Hilda, who has considerable board experience, brought a grid to help us consider who is currently on the board and the skills they possess. I found the exercise of plotting skills on the grid to be a useful and encouraging one. God has abundantly blessed us with members who have gifts they are willing to share.
For example, there are business people on the board, who bring their experiences with product development, customers, and balance sheets. There are entrepreneurs with vision and a capacity to take risks. Other skills include legal expertise and communication skills. To a person, there is an abundance of good will towards MennoMedia and our churches. Many of us have benefitted from church resources in the past, and serve on the board because we want to ensure such resources continue to be available in the future. The mission statement of MennoMedia – “to engage and shape church and society with resources for living Christian faith from an Anabaptist perspective” – resonates well on the board.
Even as we seek new members to strengthen the board and bring additional skills, we declare that God provides. Restful pauses where we contemplate God’s beautiful creation. Astonishing wild blueberries. Faithful and talented people to sit on boards and work in church agencies. Let’s give thanks for gifts that can be put to good creative use, like those wonderful blueberries.
I’d love to hear from you in a comment here or an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers, Melissa Miller, Board President of MennoMedia
Photos by Esther Epp-Tiessen