Mennonite World Conference

Is church online for good?

In its third live-streamed pandemic church service, Comunidad Evangélica Menonita of Barcelona, Spain, celebrates Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday in 2021. Joshua Garber records Estrella Norales, left, and Aïdeis Martín Mallol as they observe social-distancing guidelines while reading the liturgy. (Photo by Alfred Lozano Aran)

“We’re all going through the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat. Context is everything.”

These words, spoken by a North American pastor, address the divergent responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many congregations in Canada and the United States continue to experience restrictions on in-person meetings, while others have had the freedom to safely gather again.

God works in digital ways

The Executive Committee of Mennonite World Conference, pictured here in November 2020, met online last month.

“The growth of digital platforms has increased the awareness of what our [Mennonite World Conference] family is doing during the pandemic,” said Carlos Martínez García, Executive Committee member for Latin America and the Caribbean at the triannual Executive Committee meeting in April. “I realize a greater awareness that we are a global community.”

How to join the MWC family

MWC stands in solidarity with its member churches in joy and struggle. Pablo Stucky, left, speaks with members of Iglesia Hermanos Menonitas Peruana on a Deacons delegation visit after a severe flooding event. (MWC photo by Henk Stenvers)

“Hello. How can I join you?”

This question often comes through the social media accounts of Mennonite World Conference (MWC).

But what does it mean to be a member of MWC?

MWC joins ecumenical week of prayer one year into COVID-19 pandemic

A year after the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, Mennonite World Conference is joining the World Council of Churches and other Christians in a week of prayer March 22-27. The week will invite a time of prayer and reflection on both the lament and the hope expressed and experienced across the world during what has been a year of unprecedented suffering, but also one when churches have worked together in ever new ways to adapt, respond and accompany communities through mental, physical, economical, spiritual, and environmental crises.

Transcending borders

Francine Mukoko, standing at right, a public health graduate and the first university graduate from the Communauté Mennonite au Congo community in Bateke, presents public-health advice in Teke, the local language. (Photo courtesy of Seraphin Kutumbana)

Congregations across Mennonite Church Canada have matched a $50,000 donation made by the nationwide church to a COVID-19 relief fund operated by Mennonite World Conference (MWC).

The fund, which is part of MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund, helps MWC-member churches struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New ways of learning for a new time

Nindyo Sasongko, pictured in 2019, is one of the founders of a theology discussion channel on YouTube called “@Theovlogy.” (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/nindyo.sasongko)

Nindyo Sasongko believes theology should be publicly available to a wider audience. His experiment in online discussions began in late 2018. When the pandemic hit last year, “@Theovlogy” increased in frequency to meet the demand for online means of connecting.

GAMEO offers knowledge for everyone

John Roth, a professor at Goshen College in Goshen, Ind., is general editor of the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. (Photo courtesy of Goshen College)

Whether you’re looking for historical background for an academic paper, a church anniversary story, or to confirm a detail like “when was the Mennonite World Conference Assembly held in Curitiba, Brazil?” the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online can help you.

COVID-19 global response fund helps more Global South churches

The Mennonite church in Venezuela celebrates Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

“I have seen entire families in the garbage dumps looking to quench their hunger. I have also watched with sadness as they return the elderly from the hospitals because there are no possibilities to attend them, nor medicines to supply them,” said Erwin Francisco Mirabal González, a Mennonite pastor in Venezuela.

‘Remember your baptism’

Representatives of the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism include, from left to right: Alfred Neufeld, Theodor Dieter, Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, Marie-Hélène Robert, Larry Miller, Friederike Nüssel, Fernando Enns, John Rempel, Luis Melo, Kaisamari Hintikka, Musawenkosi Biyela, William Henn, Avelindo Gonzalez. (Photo by Wilhelm Unger)

The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism has been published. The report summarizes five years of theological consultations between the three communions on the understanding and practice of baptism in light of contemporary pastoral and missional challenges facing all three Christian communities.

MWC shifts Assembly 17 to 2022

A band leads worship at Assembly 16 in Harrisburg, Pa., in 2015. (Photo by Jonathan Charles)

In close consultation with the national advisory committee in Indonesia, the host country, the executive committee of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has decided not to hold Assembly 17 in 2021, as originally announced. Instead, MWC has decided to postpone its next global assembly until July 5-10, 2022. 

Remembering the 1990 MWC assembly in Winnipeg

More than 20,000 Mennonites flocked to Winnipeg Stadium for the closing service of the 1990 Mennonite World Conference Assembly. (All photos courtesy of Mennonite Church USA Archives)

On this day 30 years ago, Manitoba Mennonites were playing host to a global assembly of Anabaptists.

The 12th Mennonite World Conference Assembly took place in Winnipeg, Man. from July 24-29, 1990. The once-every-six-years event drew more than 12,000 registrants, including 1,600 from nearly 70 countries outside of North America. The theme was, “Witnessing to Christ in today’s world.”

Prayer ‘keeps us going’

Hotel staff wear protective equipment to distribute lunches to hospital workers in quarantine. (Photo by Tris Suyitno)

As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mennonite community in Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia, joins hands and works with the local government to mitigate the risk and manage the spread of cases in the city of more than 800,000 residents.

MWC holds online prayer hour on Pentecost

A screen grab of the Mennonite World Conference’s online prayer hour Pentecost service.

“There is lockdown and physical distancing, but even so, we can meet in prayer,” said Hanna Soren, a member of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Deacons Commission, who offered a prayer at the close of the organization’s first online prayer meeting on May 31. “From different countries, we can come together and pray together in this way.

Too much news?

'These are days of information overload.' (Image by Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)

These are days of information overload. There is so much news to follow! Local, regional, national, international, from this part of the country and from that part of the world. 

MWC hires new chief development officer

Shirley Redekop began as chief development office, a half-time role at Mennonite World Conference (MWC) on March 23. An American living in Canada, she brings a range of competencies in the field of development as she joins the team working at MWC’s office in Kitchener, Ont. She has served several roles in her local congregation, the nationwide church in Canada and with several Mennonite organizations. She has worked with people from many cultures, including Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese (in a camp in Thailand), diverse refugees in Canada, and Mennonites from Mexico.

Mennonite World Conference cancels event, meetings in B.C.

César García, MWC general secretary (second from right), welcomes participants at the first Renewal 2027 event in Augsburg, Germany in 2017. (MWC photo by Harry Unger)

With the World Health Organization using the word “pandemic” to describe global infection from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Mennonite World Conference leadership has cancelled the March Renewal 2027 public event and April executive committee meetings that were scheduled to take place in Abbotsford, B.C.

Teaching peace across Asia and around the world

Wendy Kroeker, third from left, is pictured with the Mennonite World Conference Peace Commission The others, from left to right, are: Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker Joji Pantoja, Neal Blough, Andrew Suderman, Garcia Domingo, Adriana Belinda Rodriguez, Kenneth Hoke and Jeremiah Choi. Kroeker and Pantoja were part of the delegation to Hong Kong. (Photo by Marijne Stenvers)

Name any region in Asia and chances are that Wendy Kroeker has done peace work there.

MWC delegation visits churches in Hong Kong

Notes of peaceful encouragement are written to those caught up in the political protests in Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite World Conference)

A joint delegation from the Peace and Deacons commissions of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) visited three Mennonite churches in Hong Kong, other denominations and some educational institutions, to offer solidarity and to respond to the request for further perspectives on Anabaptist peacemaking.

Watch: Mennonite World Conference's year in review

Mennonite World Conference staff have released a new video in advance of Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday. The video highlights MWC's work around the world in 2019. (Photo courtesy of MWC)

A new video highlights what happened in the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) in 2019.

Released in advance of Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday, which takes place this weekend (Jan. 19, 2020), the five-minute video explores MWC’s pursuit of “justice across barriers," as well as the work of its four commissions.

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