Akron, Pennsylvania – Part-time registration is now available for PA 2015, the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly slated for 21-26 July in Harrisburg, PA, at the Farm Show Complex.
“We’ve determined that there will be enough space to accommodate those who can attend PA 2015 only for a day or two,” said Liesa Unger, Chief International Events Officer for MWC.
“We strongly encourage everyone to attend the whole wonderful event if at all possible,” Unger stated. “But we know that some older persons may not be physically able to participate for the entire time. And there are others who find it difficult to get three days off from work to attend.” (The Assembly, which opens on Tuesday evening and closes at noon on Sunday, involves three weekdays, in addition to Saturday.)
The daily rate for adult registrants from the Global North is $120 per day (for the days of 22, 23, 24, or 25 July). That grants admission for the first event of the day – International Singing beginning at 9:30 a.m. – through the end of the Evening Worship Service at 8:30 p.m.
Part-time registrants may join in Friendship Groups, attend afternoon workshops and the Art Exhibit, and participate in the Global Church Village and on-site sports activities. Parking or shuttle service is included in the fee.
But tours, service projects, the Anabaptist World Cup and Assembly Scattered are available only to those who register full-time.
No meals are included in the daily rate, although food will be available for purchase throughout the Farm Show complex each day. A one-day registration is transferrable to another person, but not to another day.
“We recognize that this is not for bargain-seekers,” Unger said. “We simply want to make it possible for those who can’t manage it for the whole time to join this transforming experience.”
The part-time rate for children (ages 4-11) is $50 per day and includes lunch, since the children will eat lunch together as part of their activities.
The part-time rate for youth (ages 12-17) is also $50 per day, but does not include lunch.
Sharing a full-time registration
“We’re also encouraging people who work together or live near each other to share a full-time registration if they can’t each attend all of PA 2015,” explains Registration Manager Magali Moreno of Paraguay.
“For example, one Mennonite agency purchased 15 full-time registrations to share among its staff who work locally. They can’t close down for a week. In fact, they’re hosting several tours from PA 2015, so this allows staff to attend by sharing registrations.
“Several retirement communities are considering buying multiple full-time registrations so that their residents can sign up for different days.
“We’ve heard, too, of congregations and small groups – even extended families – who are buying a number of full-time tickets and then coordinating who will go when.
“Within one household, two people can share a full-time pass, with only one of them using it at a time,” Moreno suggested.
“There are sacrifices, though,” she pointed out. “We can offer only a single one-of-a-kind registration bag, outfitted with necktie handles, and filled with our brand new songbook, with each full-time ticket.”
“And you will miss unforgettable music, fellowship, and international workshops on those days when you’re not with us at PA 2015!” said Unger.
Registration fees rise on June 21
“After 21 June – exactly one month before the opening of PA 2015 – an additional fee of $15.00 will be added to the price of each Global North full-time adult registration,” said Moreno. “Later registrations require more staff time,” she explained. “Home-stays are nearly all filled, which means we have to look for alternative lodging. Several tours have reached their limits. Building MDS houses on site has been so popular and has nearly all the helpers needed, so we can’t even guarantee that all service projects will continue to have openings.
“And you could miss getting an Anabaptist World Cup T-shirt if you delay signing up since we’ll be ordering those before long. Staff try to find other options for those registrants who can’t get their first choices.
“Don’t forget to add a visit to one of the Assembly Scattered locations, either on your way to Assembly Gathered, or on your way home. You will be enriched immeasurably by your stop in these highly interesting locations where Mennonites live and work. Sign up soon so you’re sure to get your first choice.”
Too many North Americans?
“Some North Americans have wondered if they should not come so people from the U.S. and Canada don’t overwhelm the event,” commented Unger. “There are always more attendees from the host country at MWC Assemblies than from any other country. That was true in India, in Zimbabwe, and in Paraguay. But we already have strong registrations from 64 countries beyond North America: 18 African countries, 15 Asian countries, 20 Latin American countries and 11 European countries.”
“Once you enter the Farm Show Complex, you will be in a global community,” commented Moreno, who deals daily with registrations coming from around the world. “Inside that setting, you will belong to a different place. Your registration is like a passport to the global church!”
For full-time or part-time registration for PA 2015, go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015
Article by Phyllis Pellman Good, a writer and editor for Mennonite World Conference
Who will I meet at PA 2015
By mid March, registrations totaled around 3,400. (Note that the registration numbers cited here are rounded off and increasing daily.) There were 1,790 registrants from North America – 1,070 from the U.S. and 720 from Canada. Other continents were represented as follows.