The Rev. Judith Ganz, former pastor of Edmonton Moravian Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has accepted the call to serve as executive director of the Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church in America. She began on-site leadership in the Board of World Mission office in Bethlehem, Pa., on August 1.
In this new role, Ganz will lead the Board of World Mission in its worldwide efforts on behalf of the Northern Province, Southern Province and Alaskan Province of the Moravian Church. With the Board, Judy will develop vision, strategy and action for the mission activities of the church in its historic and vital partnerships with Moravian Churches in Alaska, Costa Rica, Eastern West Indies, Guyana, Honduras, Labrador, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.
In addition, Ganz will guide the work of the Board as it encourages congregations throughout North America to more fully participate in God’s mission locally as well as globally. She will represent the Northern and Southern Provinces in matters pertaining to the worldwide Moravian Unity.
Ganz will provide leadership with the current staff of the BWM, including Sam Gray, director of intercultural ministries; Lisa Mixon, director of people in mission; Mark Ebert, director of volunteer resources; Jill Kolodziej, assistant director of the Antioch Project; and Sheila Beaman, administrative assistant.
Ganz brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the executive director role. “My experience serving more than five years in Nicaragua and spending 12 years as the Western District representative to the Board of World Mission has given me a foundation from which to draw as I assume this role,” says Ganz. “I also began the HIV/AIDS work of BWM that is currently under Likewise Ministries. In addition my work as a nurse practitioner prior to entering seminary helped to build leadership skills, especially in the times that I served as manager for my clinic. Perhaps most important, though, is my own experience of the transformative grace of God in my life that allows me to trust God’s intention for good in this world and God’s active work toward bringing that about.”
Ganz served as a lay pastor for Christian Faith Moravian Church in DeForest, Wis., and as a student pastor at Emmaus Moravian Church, Emmaus, Pa. She was ordained as a deacon in the Moravian Church on Aug. 24, 2008 after receiving a call to serve the Edmonton Moravian Church in Canada, where she has served since October 2008.
“The decision to apply for the position of Executive Director of the Board of World Mission was not an easy one for me because I have grown to love the privilege of pastoring a congregation,” says Ganz. “I have also come to realize the crucial role of the local church in helping to defi ne how we need to move into our future, including how we can share God’s love in new ways beyond our doors and to people who increasingly are resistant to the gospel.”
“Yet I realized that the same question needs to be addressed at the level of the Board of World Mission. In the face of multiple changes within our societies, how are we to share Christ to the world? In particular it surfaced for me an issue that I have struggled with all of my adult life — how do we begin to share our wealth with others in ways that promote dignity and power rather than dependence and low self-esteem? The fact that I am offered the opportunity to address issues of the church about which I have been passionate for some time is both challenging and exciting to me.”
For more information on the Moravian Board of World Mission, visit www.moravianmission.org