On Earth Peace is launching a search for a new executive director. Bob Gross, who has served as director of On Earth Peace since October 2000, will be moving to another role in the organization.
“We have been planning for this transition for the past two years,” said Gross, “and we look forward to strengthening our staff team with the addition of a new organizational leader. As our ministries grow in scope and depth, it is time for fresh leadership, and I look forward to a new set of responsibilities.”
Gross has served in leadership of On Earth Peace for more than a decade, for a number of years serving as a co-executive director alongside former co-executive Barbara Sayler. His tenure with On Earth Peace has included notable service to the denomination in the area of mediation work and training, including mediation work in India during conflict over former mission properties there, and most recently facilitating a special session of the Mission and Ministry Board as a part of denomination-wide conversations on sexuality, as the Church of the Brethren was preparing for the 2011 Annual Conference.
He also has led several delegations to Israel and Palestine in cooperation with Christian Peacemaker Teams, but during the last delegation in January 2010 was detained by Israeli airport security and refused entry to the country, presumably because of his peacemaking work with Palestinian partners.
Gross has engaged in peacemaking work in a number of areas throughout his life, starting with his witness as a conscientious objector and draft resister. He and his family are part of a longstanding simple living community and farm near North Manchester, Ind., where his wife, Rachel Gross, leads the Death Row Support Project originally formed by concerned Church of the Brethren members in 1978.
On Earth Peace plans to have a new director on board this spring, and to introduce the new staff leader at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in St. Louis in July. (The position opening announcement appears in the “Brethren bits” section of the Newsline for Jan. 11, 2012.)