A people-driven purposeMarch 2024GP0|#c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34;L0|#0c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34|Extending Beyond;GTSet|#bb9274b4-45fe-43f1-8b69-3df0b933cdb0;GPP|#a82c2124-212e-4f7a-b626-9a0c5a3534c2;GPP|#96e4d92c-656e-45f6-9cd5-ab8aed108e3chttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/publications/Extending Beyond/969/A people-driven purposeA people-driven purposeExtending BeyondBy Marisa Smucker, Executive Director



<p>I first connected with Mission Network when an employee, who is also a friend of my mom, invited me to consider applying for an open position. I was living and working in Costa Rica at the time, and after 6 1/2 years, I felt called to return to the U.S. So I applied and, after the interview process, was invited to begin working at the agency, in February 2015, as a church relations representative. Since then, I have held a number of positions, including director of Mennonite Voluntary Service, senior executive of Ventures and interim executive director. </p><p>Now, as of late January, I was honored to accept the invitation to move from the interim role to the permanent appointment as executive director. <br></p><p>I love the opportunities I have had, in each of these roles, to work with extraordinary people! It is such a joy to work alongside our staff, workers and partners, as well as connecting with donors, the Mission Network constituency and colleagues in other agencies. Our narratives, both individually and collectively, of how we connect to God's movement in the world, help highlight each person/group and how we are each unique within our shared activities. <br></p><p>Before working with Mission Network, I had conflicting views about mission. As I began my work with the agency and entered into conversation with colleagues and ministry partners, I found that the language and perspective of "joining in God's mission in the world" was helpful in understanding Mission Network's approach to mission. Firstly, mission starts with God, and secondly, it is important to pay attention to where God is already at work in the world and the ways that God is working through others. As an agency, we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. We join in a partnership that goes beyond us and our goals. We are engaged in a decolonizing approach to mission that begins with mutuality. <br></p><p>At heart, I am a networker and a collaborator. Caring about the ways we work with others and connect with our partners is needed in so many spaces. I am reminded of this almost daily, as we  join others in conversation and collaboration. <br><br>Marisa Smucker<br>Executive Director</p><p><br></p>




A people-driven purposehttps://assets.mennonites.org/Downloads/Extending_Mar_C24.pdfA people-driven purposeEnglish




We are here with purposehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/extending-beyond/5046/We-are-here-with--purposeWe are here with purposeBy Zachary Headings