Many languages, but one in Christ

November 16, 2021 | Web First
Mennonite World Conference
The Mennonite World Conference logo is seen here on an MWC global assembly bag from 1990. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Brethren in Christ church members in Zimbabwe still use their Mennonite World Conference (MWC) global assembly bags from 2003 to carry their Bibles to church.

“The [MWC] logo always reminds me that the whole world is one in Christ despite the many languages,” says Donna Ndlovu, who hosted a couple from India in her home during the 2003 assembly in Zimbabwe.

The simple MWC logo wraps the globe with a cross as bands stretch around, uniting the edges. Used as the complete signature, it includes MWC’s name and tagline in all three official languages aligned above a colour bar. The logo appears on MWC’s website and all published materials.

Brethren in Christ church members in Zimbabwe, like Milton Mabhena, still use their MWC global assembly bags from 2003 to carry their Bibles to church. (Photo courtesy of MWC)

Non-verbal communication

Glenn Fretz, a graphic designer from Ontario, designed the MWC logo in 1976. It was first applied on presentation materials at Assembly 10 in Wichita, Kan., in 1978.

“MWC is unique in that it communicates with its readers in many languages,” says Fretz, who designed the layout of Canadian Mennonite magazine in 1998. “People whose language is not one of the official ones also need to relate to the organization. Therefore, the use of visual elements—like the symbol and the colour bars—provide a quick, non-verbal connection with MWC. By using the identity elements consistently and accurately in all communications, MWC and its members will support each others’ efforts to provide a clearly identifiable message to all of its audiences.”

Many designers have created various materials for MWC with the simple, recognizable logo.

At present, the visual aspects of MWC’s materials are created by Yosephine Sulistyorini, a GKMI church member and a graphic designer living in Indonesia.

“The simple identity guidelines provide a framework,” says Sulistyorini. “I can design creative visuals that are easy to associate with MWC.”

The symbol of MWC is also easy to reproduce graphically or freehand. “I have seen children at Sunday school enjoy drawing this logo,” says Nelson G. Muzarabani, secretary general of the Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe.

Invitation to join

In 2003, “the whole of Bulawayo [Zimbabwe] could be distinguished that those people with bags were going to [MWC assembly],” says Dumile Rauzhi Mahlangu. “Most people that were not involved wanted to join and see what was happening there.”

“The MWC logo on bags, T-shirts and other regalia is quite vivid,” says Muzarabani. “Our church members still carry their Bibles in those bags to our conferences almost 18 years later.”

National churches and local congregations can use the MWC logo to show that they belong.

To download the MWC logo, visit

The Mennonite World Conference logo is seen here on an MWC global assembly bag from 1990. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

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