Professors and alumni contribute to Mennomedia’s “What Now?” resources for pastors and congregations

Several EMU faculty and alumni have contributed to a new resource published by MennoMedia. Covering subjects from faith formation to sustaining leaders, “What Now? Leading Churches through COVID” resources have resonated with Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada pastors wrestling with deep and difficult issues amid the lingering pandemic.

The content covers six subjects: faith formation, worship, sustaining Leaders, community engagement, navigating polarization, and connection.

With more than 2000 downloads to date, the content has clearly filled a need in the church.

“We were able to determine that more than two-thirds of pastors in Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada signed up to receive these resources,” said Joe Hackman MDiv ’11, director of development and partner engagement.

Among the contributors are several EMU faculty:

  • David Brubaker, dean of EMU’s School of Social Sciences and Professions; 
  • Jayne Seminare Docherty, executive director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding; 
  • Cheree Hammond, professor in the graduate counseling program; and 
  • Sarah Ann Bixler, associate dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Alumni include Hendy Matahelemual MA ‘19 (Christian leadership); Nelson Okanya ‘02; Jane Hoober Peifer ‘75, MDiv ‘98; and Martin Rhodes ‘02. Former faculty member Lisa Schirch, now with the Kroc Institute at University of Notre Dame, also contributed.

MennoMedia received a Schowalter Foundation grant in May 2021 to help churches thrive after COVID-19. MennoMedia used the funds to develop the “What Now?” podcast series and downloadable resources distributed to an opt-in email list and housed on the MennoMedia website.

“What Now?” resources were released in three installments in August, September, and October . The full set of resources are available for download at and the What Now? podcast episodes are hosted on the “-ing” podcast.