Math teacher, church leader

December 30th, 2010

Michael Clymer, MA ’99

Meridian, Mississippi

Mike Clymer learned of CTP while he and his wife Melody were doing voluntary service with Mennonite Central Committee in southeastern Africa. “I found it a great way to help me process and reflect on my experiences in Swaziland and to explore what I wanted to do next.”

Toward the end of his master’s studies, Melody gave birth to their first child, Silas, causing the couple to consider where they wanted to settle and raise children. They ended up joining several friends in Meridian, Mississippi, not far from where they had lived for four years early in their marriage. “It was an opportunity for us to live and serve in a diverse community, with like-minded believers at similar stages in life, in a culture to which we felt called to return,” said Mike.

Mike is a math teacher in the local public high school. He is a lay leader in the Mennonite church in Meridian and has done interfaith community organizing in the city.

“Our time here has been filled with many of the joys and challenges that come with living on the cultural ‘edge’ – close to issues of race, poverty, education, and political-social-religious conflict.” Mike notes that peace-justice voices tend to be “marginalized and isolated” in Mississippi. Nevertheless, he said he “tries to view my work, my church, and my community through peace-justice lenses, and I try to share that perspective as I can.”

He says he uses the lessons he learned at CTP “every day in my roles at the urban high school where I teach math, in my family, and at my church.” The Clymers now have three children.

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