News

Like a tree planted

Participants of the Global Education Conference spent time networking and getting to know one another during meal times at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School. Photo provided by Reuben Friesen
Release date: 
Friday, 11 September 2015

Anabaptist Educators from around the world gather for the Global Education Conference 

Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA — Like a Tree Planted: Anabaptist Spirituality in Education, the Global Education Conference of Mennonite World Conference attracted more than 100 Anabaptist educators and leaders from 13 countries around the world.

Anabaptist spirituality is “a pedagogy of transformation,” said John D. Roth, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism. “We are created for intimacy and shalom. Fear and mistrust result in sin and broken relationships, and like the exiles from Eden, we continue to experience God’s patient work of restoration.”

Anabaptist spirituality is “what you do with that of God in you,” said Hippolyto Tshimanga, Mennonite Church Canada director of Africa, Europe and Latin America ministry. The practices of watchfulness, prayer, community, lectio devina and songs are all transformative exercises that deepen our intoxication with God. “We must be attentive to faith values and practices that open us to God’s Holy Spirit,” said Tshimanga.

Paulus Widjaja, professor of theology at Duta Wacana Christianity University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, called educators to “view character formation as peace education. We have to intentionally and purposely acquire certain virtues in order to have the character of a peacemaker.”

Sara Wenger Shenk, president of Anabaptist Mennonite Bible Seminary, said, “Education is primarily about empowering persons to choose a ‘comprehensive vision of the good.’ Any truly Anabaptist education will be shaped by ‘world creating’ and astonishing scriptural visions for God's shalom.”

On Friday conference participants visited local Mennonite schools and historical and cultural sites.

Workshops throughout the four-day conference included practical topics including restorative discipline, child safety, curriculum development, Anabaptist pedagogy and online learning.

“We are grateful for the information we learned that will strengthen the educational experiences of our children and youth,” said Elaine Moyer, senior director of Mennonite Education Agency of Mennonite Church USA. “We look forward to student and faculty exchanges that will likely emerge from this network of leaders.”

Florente Muaku Kinana a representative of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Congo said, “This time was wonderful. I plan to share this experience with our school when I return home.”

Georgiana Giddie said, “Praise be to God for this unique opportunity to be a part of this experience. I will return to India to implement some of the teachings I’ve learned.”

The summit took place 16–19 July 2015 at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA. Due to challenges in obtaining visas, several participants were unable to attend. They were remembered throughout the conference with prayer and the visual reminder of an empty table and chairs.

The group of 100 participants has formed a network of Anabaptist education leaders who hope to continue to work together.

Krista Allen is director of communications for Mennonite Education Agency.Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA — Like a Tree Planted: Anabaptist Spirituality in Education, the Global Education Conference of Mennonite World Conference attracted more than 100 Anabaptist educators and leaders from 13 countries around the world.

Anabaptist spirituality is “a pedagogy of transformation,” said John D. Roth, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism. “We are created for intimacy and shalom. Fear and mistrust result in sin and broken relationships, and like the exiles from Eden, we continue to experience God’s patient work of restoration.”

Anabaptist spirituality is “what you do with that of God in you,” said Hippolyto Tshimanga, Mennonite Church Canada director of Africa, Europe and Latin America ministry. The practices of watchfulness, prayer, community, lectio devina and songs are all transformative exercises that deepen our intoxication with God. “We must be attentive to faith values and practices that open us to God’s Holy Spirit,” said Tshimanga.

Paulus Widjaja, professor of theology at Duta Wacana Christianity University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, called educators to “view character formation as peace education. We have to intentionally and purposely acquire certain virtues in order to have the character of a peacemaker.”

Sara Wenger Shenk, president of Anabaptist Mennonite Bible Seminary, said, “Education is primarily about empowering persons to choose a ‘comprehensive vision of the good.’ Any truly Anabaptist education will be shaped by ‘world creating’ and astonishing scriptural visions for God's shalom.”

On Friday conference participants visited local Mennonite schools and historical and cultural sites.

Workshops throughout the four-day conference included practical topics including restorative discipline, child safety, curriculum development, Anabaptist pedagogy and online learning.

“We are grateful for the information we learned that will strengthen the educational experiences of our children and youth,” said Elaine Moyer, senior director of Mennonite Education Agency of Mennonite Church USA. “We look forward to student and faculty exchanges that will likely emerge from this network of leaders.”

Florente Muaku Kinana a representative of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Congo said, “This time was wonderful. I plan to share this experience with our school when I return home.”

Georgiana Giddie said, “Praise be to God for this unique opportunity to be a part of this experience. I will return to India to implement some of the teachings I’ve learned.”

The summit took place 16–19 July 2015 at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA. Due to challenges in obtaining visas, several participants were unable to attend. They were remembered throughout the conference with prayer and the visual reminder of an empty table and chairs.

The group of 100 participants has formed a network of Anabaptist education leaders who hope to continue to work together.

Krista Allen is director of communications for Mennonite Education Agency.

 

Add new comment