Mennonite World Conference

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.

MWC committee begins planning 2021 assembly

Assembly program committee members Estifanos Gedlu of Ethiopia, Ben Bergey of the United States, Jessica Mondal Lakra of India, Jardeley Martinez of Colombia, Natalie Frisk of Canada, MWC chief events coordinator Liesa Unger, assembly national co-coordinator Agus Setianto and volunteer coordinator Tigist Gelagle are pictured at the Holy Stadium in Semarang, Indonesia, where next year’s global assembly will be held. (MWC photo by Karla Braun)

A six-person program committee met last November to develop the activities and schedule of the 2021 Mennonite World Conference (MWC) global assembly in Indonesia next July. The six come from five different continents and span the decades from their 20s to their 60s.

Everything is under the authority of Christ

Harjo Suyitno designed the ‘Cosmic Christ’ cross artwork at Jepara GITJ church in Indonesian gunungan style. (Photo by Karla Braun)

“This wood carving expresses the mission and vision of the church,” (Photo by Karla Braun)

Gunungan is a figure from traditional Indonesian theatre that represents the world. The leaf-shaped art is used frequently around the country, including at the Mennonite church in seaside Jepara.

MWC Commissions strengthen bonds of communion

Antonio Gonzalez, a member of the Faith and Life Commission from Spain, and Adriana Belinda Rodriguez, a member of the Peace Commission from Honduras, chat during the MWC commission meetings in the Netherlands earlier this year. (Photo by Vikal Rao)

Approximately 40 leaders and members of the four Mennonite World Conference (MWC) commissions met together in the Netherlands for three days in late June for a time of face-to-face discussion, reflection, worship and strategic planning to advance the mission of MWC.

Move to Canadian office 'a blessing'

César Garcia, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference is pictured in his Kitchener, Ont., office, where he has been working for the past seven months. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

For César Garcia, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference (MWC), relocating to office space in Kitchener has “been a blessing.” He shares the office with four staff, some of the 40 people who work and volunteer for MWC around the world. MWC shares space at 50 Kent Avenue with staff from a variety of other Anabaptist related organizations.

A global conversation through books

Korean translations of Mennonite books are a boon to seminarians and lay leaders in Anabaptist house churches, but they also appeal to other Christians in Korea. (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)

“Although each congregation has its own history and social and cultural background, it is common to experience the same sorts of conflicts, troubles and situations,” says Ellul Yongha Bae, a Mennonite church leader and publisher in South Korea.

Expect to have your worldview challenged

North American delegates to GYS 2015 are pictured from left to right: Chris Brnjas of Canada, Rianna Isaak-Krauss, Andrea De Avila, Larissa Swartz and Trent Voth. (MWC photo by Emily Ralph Servant)

A small group discussion with GYS delegates and participants in 2009. The conversation includes Kristina Toews of Canada, second from left, and others from North America, Europe and Asia. (MWC photo by Liesa Unger)

Are you over 18 years old with a love for your regional, nationwide and global Mennonite church?

Mennonite Church Canada is seeking representatives from each of the five regional churches to represent their respective communities at the next Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Global Youth Summit (GYS) in Salatiga, Indonesia, in 2021.

Militia lays down arms in Congo

Militia members enter the Congolese city of Tshikapa in a truck to lay down their arms on January 29. (Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

(Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

Joseph Nkongolo leads a literacy training session. (Photo by Zachary Cooke)

(Map by Betty Avery)

As truckloads of militia drove into Tshikapa to lay down their arms, Joseph Nkongolo went to meet them. Nkongolo—Coordinator of the Service and Development Department of the Mennonite Church of Congo—spoke of militia members saying they want to re-enter civil life. “Pray for us,” they said to him, “we have done horrible things; forgive us for what we have done.”

MWC census shows increased numbers

‘Anabaptists around the world’: A 2018 map. (Mennonite World Conference)

Worship at a Uganda Mennonite Church congregation. ‘The Mennonite Church Uganda is quite happy and honoured to be member of the global family of the MWC,’ says Bishop Simon Okoth, national coordinator of Uganda Mennonite Church. (Uganda Mennonite Church photo)

“Uganda is ripe for evangelism and the church is growing,” says Bishop Simon Okoth, national coordinator of Uganda Mennonite Church. The new Mennonite World Conference (MWC) member church, accepted by the Executive Committee in 2017, grew from 310 members in seven congregations in 2015 to 553 members in 18 congregations in 2018.

World Fellowship Sunday: A communion of 500 years

From the World Fellowship Sunday worship resources: Venezuelan migrants welcomed to the Iglesia Menonita de Riohacha, Colombia. (Photo by Iglesia Menonita de Riohacha)

Every year on the Sunday closest to January 21, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) invites its 107 member churches to join in a celebration of World Fellowship Sunday. (See the 2019 worship resources here.

Japanese Mennonites consider ‘Shared Convictions’

Japanese Mennonites used the ‘Shared Convictions’ of Mennonite World Conference to reflect on the faith and practice of global Anabaptists. (Photo by Atsuhiro Katano) 

At the annual Peace Missions Centre seminar, members of Nihon Menonaito Kirisuto Kyokai Kyogikai (Mennonite church) in Japan used the “world café” discussion method to reflect on MWC’s ‘Shared Convictions.’ (Photo by Atsuhiro Katano)

A quiz on global Christianity and Anabaptism (including MWC statistics) prepared participants from Nihon Menonaito Kirisuto Kyokai Kyogikai (Japan Mennonite Christian Church Conference) for a discussion of the “Shared Convictions” of Global Anabaptists.

One in the Spirit of evangelism and service

Members of Mennonite World Conference’s Global Anabaptist Service Network and Global Mission Fellowship pray together around a large world map during meetings in Kenya. (Photo by Barbara Hege-Galle)

People who are involved in service are typically practical, caring people; in other words, people of action. Of course the motivation for doing service is to follow Jesus and his teaching, to reach out to the weak, to the orphans and widows, and so on, according to Jeremiah 22:3 and James 1:27.

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