New Executive Committee meets in Indonesia
Bogotá, Colombia – Excitement for Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly 2021 was in the air at the MWC Executive Committee annual meeting 12–19 February 2016 in Semarang, Indonesia.
Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia (GKMI), Gereja Injili di Tanah Jawa (GITJ), and Jemaat Kristen Indonesia (JKI), the three MWC member churches (called synods in Indonesia) hosted the gatherings of the MWC Executive Committee and the Young Anabaptists (YABs) committee.
The Indonesian leaders shared how they had been inspired by fellowshipping with each other at the MWC Assembly in Paraguay in 2009. Since that time, they have been meeting regularly as an “Indo-Menno-Leaders” group. Out of this group grew the desire to invite the worldwide Anabaptist community to meet in Indonesia for the next MWC Assembly, Indonesia 2021.
The Executive Committee heard and approved reports from staff and commissions about ongoing projects, membership applications to join MWC and the MWC budget. They thanked Ernst Bergen (Paraguay) for his years of service as the MWC treasurer and welcomed Sunoko Lin (Indonesia/USA) as the new treasurer. The Peace Commission shared updates on the working document Statement on Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. The Faith and Life Commission outlined strategies for networking with Anabaptist education institutions connected to MWC.
Renewal 2027, a celebration from 2017–2027 commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement, was also approved by the Executive Committee. This will include regional celebrations around the world culminating in the MWC Assembly in 2027.
The Executive Committee approved the dates for the next MWC General Council meeting. In 2018, from 9–19 April, the triennial MWC General Council meetings will take place alongside those of the Executive Committee, Commissions, networks including the Global Anabaptist Service Network and the Global Mission Fellowship and the YABs committee.
This was the first gathering of the Executive Committee with the new model of staggered terms. At the July 2015 MWC General Council meeting, to assist with continuity in the work of MWC, some Executive Committee member terms were extended for another three years to serve alongside new appointments on six-year terms.
The new YABs committee had their first meeting with the continental representatives appointed after GYS 2015 and rolled out the new initiative, YABs Fellowship Sunday. This annual celebration to bring Anabaptist young people together in worship around a common theme is planned for June 2016; check the MWC website and social media, and YABs social media, for more information.
Preceding their meeting, the Executive and YABs Committee members and MWC staff visited a number of local congregations. Liesa Unger, MWC Chief Events Officer, says, “The churches here are excited and eager to host our global Anabaptist family in 2021. Through this visit to Indonesia, MWC leaders and staff will be able to collaborate better as we prepare to invite all our family here in five years.”
MWC Executive Committee, Young Anabaptists Committee, Staff and volunteers at their 2016 meetings in Indonesia. Photo: LIFE TV (Indonesia).
From Left: Regional representatives Cynthia Peacock (South Asia), Henk Stenvers (Europe) and Francisca Ibanda (Central/West Africa) report to the Executive Committee. Photo: LIFE TV (Indonesia).
Click on the photos to see the high resolution version.