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.
“It has been an incredible experience to see how, despite all of our geographical divides, our team has been able to work together as we follow Jesus across our national borders,” says Natalie Frisk of Canada who is responsible for planning children’s activities.
The program committee has assigned a theme for each day of the assembly:
• July 6 opening service: Following Jesus together across barriers.
• July 7: Following Jesus—learning together.
• July 8: Following Jesus—living together.
• July 9: Following Jesus—caring together.
• July 10: Following Jesus—celebrating together.
• July 11: Following Jesus together.
“These themes join together discipleship, peace, and reconciliation, giving space for listening, learning and empathizing,” says Benjamin Bergey of the United States, who is responsible for music planning.
Barriers of age concern the committee members.
Youth may feel excluded from important decision-making processes, leadership development or simply being seen as an integral part of the church, says Jardely Martínez of Colombia, who is responsible for youth and teen activities.
“Both a challenge and a hope is that the youth can be a part of the kind of church they envision, able to discover and share their gifts within the community, and that they can have spaces to exchange and learn from other Young AnaBaptists (YABs) around the globe,” she says.
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)