MWC Books: one church’s peace project

“Why would you help us? Who are you Mennonites?” A family from Colombia asked this of their friends at Grantham Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church in St. Catharines, Ont., Canada.

MWC makes space, shares hope

“Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord,” said Mennonite World Conference (MWC) President J. Nelson Kraybill. At the Executive Committee meetings, eight pastors and leaders from Asociación Iglesias Cristianas Menonitas de Costa Rica shared about how their congregations are growing together and start new ministries.

Growing forgiveness

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask for forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists in the region. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites. Delegates from every congregation in Konferenz der Mennoniten der Schweiz [Alttäufer]/Conférence Mennonite Suisse [Anabaptiste] (KMS/CMS) gathered to offer forgiveness to the government of the canton of Bern in a 20 April 2019 ceremony at Église évangélique mennonite Tavannes.

“Every second, God is here, helping me”

“A chapter of my story was written while with YAMEN,” says Diana Martínez. The young church leader from Colombia served as an educational assistant at Casa Hogar Belén, a children’s home in Managua, Nicaragua, 2017–2018 through YAMEN.

Challenge and hope on the road

“We enthusiastically celebrate that we are a Christo-centric borderless faith community, because as part of Mennonite World Conference, we fraternally unite with 107 Anabaptist and Mennonite [national churches and one international association] across 58 different countries in the world,” said Maykol Luis García Morelli, president of Asociación de Iglesias Cristianas Menonitas de Costa Rica.

Mennonite Church West Africa celebrates credentialed pastors

Mennonite Church West Africa (MCWA) celebrated its first-ever credentialed leaders: Adriano MBackeh, Sangpierre Mendy, Daniel Djin-ale, and Gibby Mane. “Christian leadership is meant to be servanthood, not masterhood,” said MBackeh. “Just as Jesus gave himself willingly, so also should church leaders today follow that example rather than seeking honour and prestige from their flock.”

General secretary relocates

General secretary César García and executive assistant Sandra Báez Rojas of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) have relocated to Canada in February 2019 to work out of the Kitchener, Ontario, office.

Agents of hope: Andean Anabaptist solidarity

For the first time in more than a decade, Anabaptist church leaders from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela gathered together, 9–12 November 2018, in La Cumbre, Valle, Colombia. They studied the Bible, sang in community, and listened to each other around the theme “The Church as an Agent of Hope in the Socio-Political Context of Latin America.” José Rutilio Rivas, member of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Mission Commission, preached in the opening session.

Peace by piece: a ministry of sewing

“The church must do its job, offering people charity and spiritual teaching, so that a person may be transformed,” says Safari Mutabesha Bahati. Mennonite Association for Peace and Development (MAPD) in Malawi, a member of the global Anabaptist Service Network, supports both through a women’s sewing ministry that includes trauma healing for residents of Dzaleka refugee camp, mainly from Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo.

MWC celebrates legacy of two leaders

Mennonite World Conference lost two leaders currently serving in official roles. Pascal Kulungu, member of the newly formed Global Anabaptist Peace Network steering committee, died 16 January 2019 after a short illness. Manjula Roul, member of the Faith and Life Commission since 2015 and General Council member, died 26 January 2019 after a journey with cancer.