New MCC Canada Executive Director

Mennonite Central Committee
Wednesday, 17 October 2001

WINNIPEG, Man. -- MCC Canada's new executive director describes his past year on deferred salary leave as "a year of re-creation not recreation." It was an essential year to prepare him for whatever was to come.

As principal of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg for six years, Donald Peters had planned to take a year off before moving on to his next assignment. By deferring a portion of his salary each year, he was able to accumulate enough for an entire year off which was spent in extensive travel, accumulated job-jar projects, reading and spending time with family.

Even before the deferred-salary year had begun, Peters was approached by several people who urged him to consider applying for the position of executive director of MCC Canada. The executive director at the time had made known his intentions of moving on to another job.

There has been a relationship between MCC and Peters since 1988 when he and wife Elaine directed MCC programs in Brazil for five years. Returning to MCC appealed to him because he remembered it as a place where he "worked with good people in the direction of legitimate causes."

Peters began his role as MCC Canada executive director September 1. He sees MCC as a multi-faceted, dynamic organization and within it, MCC Canada plays an important part.

"MCC Canada plays a critical role as a networking center as it provides direction, resources and a common MCC vision.

"Each member in the MCC family --the provinces, national and bi-national-- plays a critical role. MCC Canada is positioned to assume an essential relational role." He is encouraged by the positive spirit of co-operation that exists between the various levels of the organization.

By interpreting the vision of MCC to the wider constituency Peters hopes to create a national identity for MCC. This mandate was put to the test following the September 11 calamity when constituents and the non-church media wanted to know; "what is the position of MCC?"

"I am pleased that within our response we are not only expressing our horror to the devastation in New York and Washington, but also we are expressing our horror at the plight of the Afghani people."

There is strong evidence to suggest that the Canadian public has a desire to know where MCC stands. "This is humbling, gratifying and scarey, a position we must never take lightly. There is a great deal of respect for MCC and this responsibility is worthy of guarding."

For more information, or to contact Mennonite Central Committee, see their website at: www.mcc.org

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