Tag Archives: partnership

Five ways you can help prepare for Pennsylvania 2015

 by Phyllis Pellman Good for Mennonite World Conference

Next July, Anabaptists from around the world will gather for worship and fellowship at Mennonite World Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. More than 8000 participants are expected to attend, and conference staff and volunteers are making arrangements to feed and lodge attendees, as well as preparing worship services, workshops, music, and the Global Church Village, a large display area and meeting place.

Mennonite World Conference is inviting North American congregations to get involved now, and help begin welcoming brothers and sisters from across the globe.

Pennsylvania 2015 will include worship, singing, and time for reflection in small groups. Photo by Merle Good.
Pennsylvania 2015 will include worship, singing, and time for reflection in small groups. Photo by Merle Good.

Here are five ways you can support the gathering:

Join the prayer network. You’ll receive monthly emails about particular needs as conference staff prepare. Two big prayer requests: that attendees from the global south will be granted visas so they can attend, and that churches here will offer extravagant hospitality as they welcome participants from other parts of the world.

Learn more about your global family of faith. A good resource is What We Believe Together, by Alfred Neufeld. The book is based on the Mennonite World Conference statement “Shared Convictions of Global Anabaptists,” and includes questions for discussion, so it’s a great resource for Sunday School classes and small groups.

Want other resources for your congregation, Sunday School class or small group? Check out Mennonite World Conference’s resource page, which includes news, background information, and guides for congregations.

Volunteer. It takes a (global) village to welcome so many people, and volunteers are needed now, as well as during the assembly. Those who assist during the gathering receive a discounted registration rate. More information is available at www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015volunteer.

Partner. MWC is encouraging congregations in the U.S. to partner with each other so that churches with fewer financial resources or with recent immigrants to the U.S. can attend the gathering. The registration cost is split three ways: MWC and both congregations contribute part of the fee.

Register! Plan to attend Harrisburg 2015, where you’ll build relationships and remember the gift of belonging to an international family of faith. Register at www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015registration.

Partnership solution developed to make PA 2015 attendance possible

by Phyllis Pellman Good, Mennonite World Conference

MWC see youHarrisburg, PA – “What a sad irony it would be if we welcomed the world to PA 2015 but we failed to find a way for our U.S. and Canadian sisters and brothers who belong to immigrant congregations, and to congregations who need financial support, to attend MWC’s Assembly next summer,” reflects Lynn Roth, Mennonite World Conference’s lead North American staff person.

“We have a rich diversity of nationalities within our 1400-plus congregations in the U.S. We worship in at least 20 languages – Indonesian, Amharic, and Karen, to name just a few. Many of the members of these congregations are fairly recent immigrants. Many of them have limited incomes. They want very much to attend PA 2015. But many cannot afford the registration fee, nor can they afford to take time off from work to attend.

“Yet we believe it is essential for people from these congregations to experience the global church and to be strongly represented at the Assembly to be held July 21-26, 2015 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“Their presence at PA 2015 will help all of us more fully grasp the wonderful variety within the North American church,” says Roth.  “And having had this experience, we won’t be content to live so separately in the future.”

A partnership solution

“We’ve put together a plan that shares responsibility for solving this dilemma,” explains Roth. “Regional and area conferences, together with local congregations and church organizations with resources to share, are invited to partner with Mennonite World Conference, and with these congregations with limited financial resources.” (See below for details.)

“We urge all congregations and area conferences across North America to join us in this effort – both those who need financial support and those who have funds to share. Please keep this opportunity to ‘care for those in our household of faith’ in mind as you plan your 2015 budget,” suggests Roth.

“Email registrations@mwc-cmm.org for instructions about how a conference or congregation can become a partner by sending funds to MWC for their portion of the registration, and how the persons receiving the subsidy should register.”

A gift that keeps on giving

“Think of this as an investment in our ongoing life together as a North American church,” says Roth. “PA 2015 gives us a rare chance to learn to know our neighbouring churches – our sisters and brothers from other cultures and language groups, and with different economic status – as partners.

“We want to continue our shared life together when the last guest has gone home from PA 2015,” reflects Roth. “As a North American church, we want to more fully experience being part of a global faith family as a result of preparing for and hosting the Assembly.”

Here’s how the partnership solution will work:

The registration fee for a North American adult for PA 2015 (including the full meal plan) is $575.

  • Mennonite World Conference will subsidize $150 of that cost.
  • MWC invites the congregation’s regional conference or a partnering congregation to donate $150.
  • The participating individual (or his/her congregation) pays the balance of $275.
  • In addition, these persons will be given priority to stay in private homes for $25 per night (totaling $125 to $150).
  • An additional cost for which creative funding must be found is transportation to and from PA 2015.