Harrisburg, PA, USA – In less than a year from now, our sisters and brothers from around the world, and from across North America, will be coming to Harrisburg to worship and fellowship with us. “PA 2015,” the Mennonite World Conference Assembly, will be held at the Farm Show Complex, July 21-26, 2015.
“We expect to host up to 8,000 guests,” says Lynn Roth, North America Representative for MWC. “Our team is lining up lodging, food, transportation, the worship services, the seminars, the Global Church Village, and the choirs, but we need local people to provide a heartfelt welcome, to enter into the event as fully as possible, beginning now!”
Here’s what you can do:
1. Plan to attend the whole 5½ days. This is the way you’ll make lasting friendships and discover the gift of belonging to an international family of faith. Go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015registration.
2. Join the Prayer Network now. You’ll receive monthly messages about particular needs in planning the Assembly. Two big ones—that our sisters and brothers from the Global South will be granted visas so they can attend; and that we North Americans will offer hospitality of the heart to our visitors. Go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015prayernetwork.
3. Urge your congregation to partner with another congregation whose members have fewer financial resources or are recent immigrants to the U.S., so its members are able to attend and join in the global fellowship. For more detail, go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015partnership. Contact your conference office for information about how to do this.
4. Learn more about your global family of faith by reading What We Believe Together, by Alfred Neufeld, based on MWC’s “Shared Convictions of Global Anabaptists” statement. The book includes discussion questions, so find others who will read the book, and discuss it together. Or read and discuss the five books in MWC’s Global Mennonite History Series. Each history has been written, not by North Americans, but by persons from those continents. All these books can be ordered from www.lmhs.org, or by calling 717-393-8745.
5. Don’t miss “Resources for Congregations” on the MWC website. You’ll find a video about PA 2105, information for your church bulletins, background articles, ideas for planning events leading up to the Assembly, and more. Go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015resources.
6. Volunteer to help now and/or during PA 2015. Consider hosting guests in your home. Go to www.mwc-cmm.org/pa2015volunteer.
“Remember,” says Roth, “PA 2015 will be an experience of Jesus we can’t fully replicate in our own congregations, a taste of heaven as we worship and fellowship in many languages and cultures.”
Article by Phyllis Pellman Good, Lancaster, PA, a writer and editor for MWC
PA 2015 will feature exuberant singing. Photo by Merle Good