Mennonite World Conference

Shortened meetings study unity, affirm new members

As the Muslim call to prayer wafted on the air through open doors, the General Council worshipped, prayed, and considered the global fellowship of churches in Mennonite World Conference. (MWC photo)

As the Muslim call to prayer wafted on the air through open doors, the General Council worshipped, prayed and considered the global fellowship of churches in Mennonite World Conference (MWC). The in-person triennial meetings of leaders of MWC national member churches in Indonesia in early July were cut short as COVID-19 positives put leaders into isolation.
    

Ukraine war shakes peace convictions, MWC assembly told

Sufi Islamic dancers participate in a July 6 Mennonite World Conference assembly worship service at Congdut GITJ Jepara, a Mennonite church in Central Java. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

Saying the war in Ukraine has shaken western European Mennonites’ commitment to nonviolence, a French pastor urged Mennonites from around the world to get off the sidelines and work for peace.

Hundreds of worshippers heard her message on July 6, the second day of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly in Salatiga, Indonesia.

MWC assembly crosses barriers to gather in Indonesia

A group of Javanese dancers perform on July 5 during the Mennonite World Conference assembly’s opening worship service at STT Seminary in Salatiga, Indonesia. (Meetinghouse photo by Kresna Kurniawan)

A colourful display of Javanese music, dance and shadow puppetry kicked off the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly in Salatiga, Indonesia, on July 5.
    

Watch: MWC looks back on 2021

Mennonite World Conference has released a video highlighting its work around the world in 2021. In this image, young people study the Bible in small groups at a youth event in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of MWC)

If you’re curious about what Mennonites around the world were up to in 2021, look no further than Mennonite World Conference’s (MWC) year-in-review video.

Released at the end of December, the five-minute video explores the ways the global Anabaptist-Mennonite family strengthened relationships through local gatherings and international webinars.

Global Youth Summit leaders conducting national survey

Mennonite World Conference’s Global Youth Summit (GYS), an international assembly that provides a platform for young Anabaptists adults, aged 18 to 30 years, to share insights and learnings, has given delegates the task of conducting a national survey to amplify the voices of young Anabaptist youth and adults relating to this year’s theme, “Life in the Spirit: Learn, serve, worship.” The survey seeks to investigate prevalent issues and challenges experienced by young Anabaptists while developing strategies about specific actions that can be achieved.

Many languages, but one in Christ

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.

Six reasons to attend the 2022 MWC Assembly

Indonesia’s strong national commitment to religious freedom has enabled smaller Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian and Christian communities to flourish. (Photo by Karla Braun)

Are you wondering whether or not to attend the upcoming Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Semarang, Indonesia, which takes place July 5-10, 2022?

John D. Roth’s new book, A Cloud of Witnesses: Celebrating Indonesian Mennonites, includes six reasons why you should consider participating.

Thousands vaccinated at Indonesian Anabaptists’ Holy Stadium

Mennonite World Conference’s Global Church Sharing Fund helps workers at Holy Stadium in Semarang, Indonesia, offer vaccines amid a COVID-19 infection wave. (MWC photo)

In multireligious Indonesia, many people have never been inside a church. The pandemic is changing that for residents of Semarang (population 1.8 million) and the surrounding area.

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.”

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