A Steering Committee provides basic oversight and administration of MennoPIN. Meet the members.
Tom Harder: My wife Lois and I are co-pastors at the Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita, KS. In January 2011, we participated in the Jerusalem Seminar led by Patty Shelly (of Bethel College) and Doug Miller (of Tabor College). It was a transformative, life-changing experience for me, to listen to Scripture from within its original, geographical context, at the same time that we learned about the current socio-political situation in the holy land. I met Christ there. He was working through organizations such as Sabeel, and ICAHD, and CPT. I met him at the separation wall in Bethlehem. I met him at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. I met him beside the Sea of Galilee. I met him in Hebron, while standing on a street of walled up shops, listening to the Muslim call to prayer. I met him on the south steps of the Temple mount, where he used to teach his disciples. There, he called me anew, to be a vessel for God’s gospel, a builder in God’s kingdom.
Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian attorney, and human rights activist. He grew up in Jerusalem, studied in the US, graduating from University of Virginia law School, and worked a couple of years at the Wall Street Law firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie & Alexander. He is a member of the Bar Association in New York, Israel, and Palestine.
Mr. Kuttab founded a number of human rights organizations including Al Haq, and the Mandela Institute for Palestinian Prisoners and is the Chairman of the Board of Bethlehem Bible College, and of Holy Land Trust, and is active in many other civil society organizations in Palestine and internationally. He was the Head of the Legal Committee negotiating the Cairo Agreement of 1994 between Israel and the PLO and has been active in Peace and justice issues for many years. He is a recognized authority on international law, human rights and Palestinian and Israeli affairs.
Joy Lapp: I first went to the Middle East as an Eastern Mennonite College student in 1981, for “Jerusalem Term.” We spent 5 days in Jordan, 5 weeks in Jerusalem, and 10 days in Egypt. I loved that trip, and it has shaped many things I’ve done since. Later I spent 3 years as an MCC volunteer in Egypt (1988-91), teaching English. I learned to know Rev. Naim Ateek, Director of Sabeel, when he was the speaker for our MCC Middle East Retreat one year. In 2004 I spent a month in Bethlehem as a partcipant in the “Palestine Summer Encounter” program organized by the Holy Land Trust. I lived with a family in Beit Jala, taught English in Walaja, and studied Arabic. I also spent a few days that summer volunteering at the Sabeel office in Jerusalem. That fall I attended the Sabeel Regional Conference in St. Paul where I met Sister Elaine Kelley. She told me that they would like to hold a Sabeel Regional Conference in Denver, but couldn’t find anyone to organize it. I agreed to help with the conference, which took place in October 2005 and was great fun. I have been working with Sabeel ever since. I co-lead a Sabeel Witness Trip to Israel/Palestine for 2 weeks each summer. Sabeel is ecumenical so over the years I have heard a lot about what other denominations are doing in relation to justice in Palestine, and have been asking myself for years, “Where are the Mennonites?!” I connected with Tom Harder when the Peace and Justice group at his church was interested in becoming a local Sabeel Group, and through our discussions we connected with Jason Boone and Andre Gingrich-Stoner and MennoPIN was born! I live in Mount Pleasant, Iowa where I teach religion at Iowa Wesleyan College and attend Pleasant View Mennonite Church.
Anita Rediger: I am currently serving as pastor of Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship in Berne, Indiana. My awareness of the realities of life in Israel/Palestine has grown through listening to reports from Bluffton University students and MCC workers. Yet, I didn’t have a personal connection to this occupation. However, prior to Kansas City 2015, our Fellowship studied the Karios document; the resources of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace connected us with “living stones” from Palestine. In March, I traveled to Israel/Palestine with the ICMEP. Visits with Sahar Vardi, Sam Bahour, George & Najwa Saadeh, Rami Elhanan, the CPTers in Hebron, Abuna Chacour and others in Ramallah and Bethlehem gripped me. American Christians bear a great responsibility for the sufferings of the Palestinian people. I am committed to speaking about Christian Zionism and its effects on the people of Palestine from my place in rural USA.
Joe Roos: I was one of the founders of Sojourners magazine and its Publisher for 27 years. I have also served as pastor of several churches in the United States and India, including two MC USA congregations. My first exposure to the suffering of the Palestinian people came with our reporting in Sojourners on the first Intifada and my awareness grew as we continued to cover the occupation. But that was mostly head knowledge. When I went on a Witness Tour with Sabeel in November 2015, my heart knowledge grew to match and exceed my head knowledge. We were blessed to have Naim Ateek lead our pilgrimage. Not only was Naim a founder of Sabeel and the architect of Palestinian Liberation Theology, he also lived through the Nakba and was forced into exile with his family from his boyhood home. The places we went, the people we talked with and Naim’s powerful commentary all gave me a stunning view of a people struggling to keep hope alive amidst enormous suffering. It is an honor to serve on the MennoPIN Steering Committee and I also enjoy my participation on the steering committee of FOSNA Los Angeles/Orange County. I am also on three boards that deeply support the Palestinian cause: Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries and ReonciliAsian. My wife, Cheri Herrboldt is also ordained in MC USA and works as Health Care Ombudsman Mediator at the Los Angeles Medical Center and our daughter, Anjali, is entering her senior in high school. We live in Pasadena, CA.
Rod Stafford is the Lead Pastor of Portland Mennonite Church (Oregon). On a sabbatical in 2013, he spent six weeks in Israel and Palestine where he learned some of the names and stories of what had been to that point only distant political issues. Since then Rod has served on the Education Committee of MennoPIN, where he worked on adapting a study guide for the Kairos Palestine letter. He also served on the writing team for the resolution ‘Seeing Peace in Israel and Palestine’ which was overwhelmingly affirmed by the delegates of Mennonite Church USA in July 2017.