A Spirited gathering: MWC’s General Council meets in Kenya

“It is my wish that [during our gathering], we meet with God in the fullness of his Spirit, in the communion of his people, and the gift of unity in the midst of the theological and cultural diversity of our global church,” says general secretary César García. The triennial Mennonite World Conference meetings of the General Council (delegates sent from each national member church) are 23–26 April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, preceded by meetings of MWC committees and networks. Additionally, delegates and local Mennonites will celebrate Renewal 2027 “The Holy Spirit Transforming Us” in Kisumu, Kenya, 21 April 2018.

The members of MWC’s Executive Committee, Regional Representatives, Commissions (Faith & Life, Peace, Mission, Deacons), Young Anabaptists (YABs) Committee, Global Anabaptist Service Network and Global Mission Fellowship, and steering committee of the emerging Global Anabaptist Peace Network will enjoy face-to-face meetings at this time.

Staff, commissions and networks will give reports on their work. The General Council decides upon the MWC program plan and strategic goals (live out anabaptist identity, interdependent relationships, reconciliation and hope) for 2018–2021, reviews the finances including the Fair Share contributions for 2018–2021. New members will be appointed to the Executive Committee and Commissions, and the positions of president and vice president elect.

The Commissions will introduce three documents for General Council action: a guideline on responding to controversial issues, a statement of solidarity with Indigenous peoples, a teaching resource “Identity and Ecumenicity: A Theology of Interchurch Hospitality and Denominational Identity.”

“I enjoy the General Council Meetings because of the way we allow divergent views,” says Executive Committee Africa representative Thuma Hamukang'andu. Through the decision making process, “We build each other’s faith.”

As at the General Council meetings in 2015, delegates will also have opportunity to attend equipping workshops to resource church leaders on subjects like church growth, leading through conflict, spiritual leadership and strategic planning.

“This meeting is indispensable, not just because of the business decisions, but also because of the common learning experiences,...of the whole body,” says Executive Committee Europe representative Rainer Burkart.

“The General Council is the visible global church in its most intense way.”

—Mennonite World Conference release