Five young adults—one from each of Mennonite Church Canada’s regional churches—will represent the nationwide church at Global Youth Summit (GYS) 2021 in Salatiga, Indonesia.
The Summit takes place from July 2 to 5, 2021, four days before the 18th Mennonite World Conference assembly. The event is for youth aged 18 to 30 and it provides an opportunity for young Anabaptists to connect and share news, experiences and struggles from different continents and countries, in order to enrich the faith of all. The theme is “Life in the Spirit: Learn, serve, worship.”
The representatives are:
Christen Kong, 26, of Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church, has been selected as the official delegate for MC Church Canada. She will attend GYS delegate sessions and will be assigned a special GYS project that the five Canadian representatives will work on together prior to the Summit. She was chosen by MC Eastern Canada.
Kong has an undergraduate degree in environmental sustainability and international development, is a former participant in Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program, and has worked in communications for a community arts organization in Toronto.
“I look most forward to learning how to co-create ways of living together by making meaning out of our differences while encouraging our similarities,” she says. “I want to laugh lots and serve people through prayer. I want to experience what it means to be bold in faith, knowing that a congregation who loves Jesus surrounds us.”
Andrew Klassen Brown, 26, attends Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, where he lives. The MC Manitoba rep is currently a graduate student in Anabaptist studies at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU). Having taken the Global Anabaptist-Mennonite History and Theology course, he looks forward to experiencing global Anabaptism in Salatiga.
“I am very interested to explore more deeply the gifts, challenges and blessings the Indonesian community brings to our global Anabaptist-Mennonite community,” he says. He also looks forward to discussing peace/violence, the climate crisis and other world issues with other Anabaptist Mennonites from around the world.
Madison Harms, 18, of Warman (Sask.) Mennonite Church, is a psychology student at CMU. The MC Saskatchewan rep was an avid volunteer growing up, having worked for the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization, leading worship and retreats for three years.
She looks forward to sharing her experiences with her church when she comes back. “This will be a great opportunity to learn and experience a new environment and type of worship,” she says.
Rebecca Janzen, 23, of First Mennonite Church in Edmonton, is in her final undergraduate year of biblical and theological studies at CMU. The MC Alberta rep looks forward to connecting with young adults from the nationwide and international Anabaptist churches, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss what is working and not working in the church body.
“For the church to move forward, serious reflection needs to be taken, especially observing the younger generation’s perspective,” she says, wondering, “What does the church teach? How much space is there in the church to make change for the better?”
Ashley Rempel, 23, of Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack, is an education student at Trinity Western University. The MC British Columbia rep has been involved in her church community through leading Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, working at Camp Squeah, and now as a youth leader.
“It will be such an amazing experience to interact with Mennonite youth from all around the world whom I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet,” she says.
Expect to have your worldview changed