Harrisburg and Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, USA – Mennonites and Brethren in Christ in eastern Pennsylvania enthusiastically welcomed Mennonite World Conference leaders on Sunday, 20 July at two kick-off celebrations, exactly one year in advance of the opening of the 21-26 July 2015 MWC Assembly, Pennsylvania 2015.
One event was held in the morning at Harrisburg Brethren in Christ Church. The afternoon event took place at Mt. Joy Mennonite Church.
César García, MWC general secretary, introduced the Assembly theme, “Walking with God.” He pointed out that the theme is drawn from the road to Emmaus story, in which the disciples seem to be in a contentious discussion, but they still walk side by side. “Only when they were seated at the table, communing together, did they discover who Jesus was. When we are together in communion, we see with different eyes. And we discover Jesus in a new way.”
Songwriters Frances Crowhill Miller and Daryl Snider, along with song leader Marcy Hostetler, led the afternoon audience of some 300 in rousing international singing.
Vikal P. Rao of India, a member of the Assembly program committee, gave the audience a glimpse of the Global Church Village. The Village will be a performance area within the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, where Pennsylvania 2015 will be held. Joanne Dietzel, a member of Mennonite Church USA, one of the hosting groups, introduced the Prayer Network.
MWC office opened in Akron
A few days earlier, MWC opened an office in Lancaster County, at the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. headquarters in Akron, Pennsylvania.
“We are thankful to MCC that we can have office space to get ready for registration for Assembly, process registrations as they come in, plus continue detailed planning for the week-long event next July,” said Liesa Unger of Germany, MWC chief international events officer, who is overseeing the Assembly.
“We are hiring two new staff now, and we will need more as we get closer to the Assembly. I will move to eastern Pennsylvania at the end of April. At that point, many more people will move in and out of the office,” she added.
Staff in the MWC Assembly office in Pennsylvania can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 717-826-0909. The mailing address for the office is: PO Box 5364, Lancaster, PA 17606-6364.
MWC release by Phyllis Pellman Good