Franconia Conference and Mennonite World Conference: intersections of global proportions

by Sharon Williams

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly, Pennsylvania 2015, is coming to the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, July 21­–26. Emily Ralph’s job is to make sure that everyone knows about it.

Emily RalphEmily is the associate director of communication for Franconia Conference and joined the Pennsylvania 2015 leadership team when MWC subcontracted its communications work to the conference. Emily is responsible for many aspects of communications before, during and after the assembly, and is helping to lead a team of 75 volunteers who will produce media coverage for attendees and everyone else around the world. They will provide videography, photography, and graphic design; livestream the worship services; record sessions; do reporting; handle oral interpretation and written translations; engage all manner of social media; and connect with the press.

This assembly’s theme is “Walking with God/Caminemos con Dios/En Marche avec Dieu.” The communication team’s goal is to help build the Anabaptist global community on location and around the world. Another goal is to lay the groundwork for Indonesia 2021, the next global assembly.

Franconia Conference’s commitment to intercultural ministry and relationships is a key component in MWC’s planning. The conference and MWC have cultivated a partnership that dates back at least to the late 1990s when conference leaders exchanged sabbaticals and visits with then MWC president Mesach Krisetya (1997–2003) of Indonesia. Franconia Conference has had strong representation at previous assemblies in Canada, India, Zimbabwe, and Paraguay; Pennsylvania 2015 is an opportunity for the conference to further this partnership of ministry and mission.

Franconia Conference members can be directly involved with hosting this summer’s assembly. Volunteer opportunities include working with Emily on the communication team, doing translation, joining a music ensemble or the intercessory prayer network. Some members will lead workshops and some conference congregations will host tour groups. More congregations are needed to welcome assembly participants for worship on Sunday, July 26, as the Farm Show Arena cannot accommodate the traditional influx of local congregations for the closing worship service.

Information about the assembly and registration is available online. Volunteers who can commit to serving four to six hours each day can request a reduced registration fee if needed. Click here for more information.

All are invited to join the rich diversity of Franconia Conference with global brothers and sisters in worship and fellowship, and recommit to “walking with God” together.

Sharon K. Williams is a musician, editor and congregational/non-profit consultant. She serves the Lord with the Nueva Vida Norristown New Life congregation as minister of worship.