Arli Klassen appointed to fundraising role with Mennonite World Conference

Kitchener, Ontario—Arli Klassen of Kitchener, Ontario will serve as Development Manager for Mennonite World Conference (MWC) beginning October 1, 2012.

Until May or June of 2013, she will work half time with responsibilities for MWC fundraising and donor relations in North America. Then her role could become full time with fundraising responsibilities not only in North America but also in other parts of the world.

“I am passionate about the global church,” commented Klassen.  “We don’t understand God fully,” she added, “until we get to know people from other cultures and hear about their understanding of God.”

“It’s not enough to relate to other cultures within your own city,” said Klassen. “We need to learn from other cultures in their own distinct and different settings.”

Her leadership positions with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for the past 12 years have given Klassen many opportunities to be in contact with parts of the global church. From 2008 through March of 2012, she served as MCC Executive Director, based in Akron, Pennsylvania. While in this position, she represented MCC at the annual meeting of the MWC Executive Committee.

When announcing Klassen’s appointment, César García, MWC General Secretary, said he was pleased and excited to have her join the staff team. “When I met Arli several years ago, her interest in walking with those who suffer in the global church impacted me. I remember her arriving at an MWC meeting with a clear position about a decision to be made there. However, during the discussion she was sensitive to the diversity of global voices. She was able to build new ways and possibilities as a result of such intercultural exchange. Her availability to listen to the global church and her interest in it is something I appreciate and welcome in our global family.”

Klassen’s earlier experience includes eight years (1999-2007) as Executive Director of MCC Ontario, Assistant Director of the MCC Africa Program, Connecting Peoples Resource Person with MCC and a time of service in Lesotho, Africa.

“I had dabbled in fundraising in my Executive Director work,” commented Klassen. She said that since leaving her position with MCC, she had been looking for a fundraising role with some organization that matched her interests and commitments.

Klassen said she is looking forward to talking with people about the value and importance of global relations which are made possible through MWC—not only through the large assemblies every six years but through many other points of contact. “We need each other,” she emphasized.

MWC release

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Photo available : Arli Klassen