“We know that we are part of a larger community, but sharing this Sunday leads us to live it concretely,” says Sylvain Lavoué, church board vice president at Église Protestante Mennonite, Villeneuve le Comte, France. The church celebrated Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday by using the testimonies and videos the worship resource provided by Mennonite World Conference.
“Listening to the Bible verses read by our brothers and sisters in Burkina was rich in emotions. It was as though they were attending the celebration with us,” Veronique Lavoué, Église Protestante Mennonite.
Photo: Église Protestante Mennonite braided fabric at their monthly Saturday Ecocreatif workshop. Congregants from age 6 to 62 formed the word “esperance” (hope) to decorate the church building. “The participants of the workshop felt more involved in the service through this work. That is always a challenge to involve children so that they feel part of the global church,” says Veronique Lavoué.
“We thank MWC to lead us in wonderful and blessed celebration of Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday. This has surely united and encouraged us to grow as a global Anabaptist family,” says Ashish Milap, pastor of Bethel Mennonite Church, Balodgahan India.
At Bethel Mennonite, Sunday worship celebrated the birthday of the Anabaptist-Mennonite church. Translated into Hindi, “How Mennonites came to be,” testimonies and prayers from the worship package were shared along with songs from Assembly.
Ashish Milap, part of the international choir in Indonesia, chose the simplest songs. “I thank my church choir that with hard work they learned songs in different language on Saturday to teach congregation on Sunday”: “Cantai ao Senhor” in Portuguese, “Siyahamba” om Xhosa; “Dalam Jesus Kita Bersaudara” in Indonesian and “Kwake Yesu nasimama” in Swahili. “Church members said they enjoyed learning and singing new songs in different language.”
Photo: Bethel Mennonite Church, Balodgahan India
Some 3 000 people from six IEIMA congregations in Cafunfo in Angola gathered to celebrate Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday together. Nine pastors from around the province received their ordination at the service. “The Lord was gloried by the songs, testimonies and offerings,” says Daniel Canganguela, presiding officer of Igreja Evangélica dos Irmãos Mennonitas em Angola (IEIMA).
Photo: President of the national ordination commission Rev. Antônio Panzo (left) hands new ordinand Andre Mukanishi (right) his certificate.
Celebrating AWFS is very important because it reconnects us from our grassroots as an Anabaptist-related church,” says Rev. Ndaba Nyathi pastor at BIC Bulawayo Central Church. “The church enjoyed the whole program of praying for one another and encouraging each other on social and spiritual challenges. Our faith of being in a global family is being refreshed through the Word and prayer items.
The meeting in 2003 is still remembered for brethren accepting each other even from different cultures and colour. It left the message of love and peace amongst the Brethren in Christ. The praying and worshipping together brought some revival.”
Iglesia Del Dios Viviente Rama, part of Convención Menonita de Nicaragua, celebrated the 498th anniversary of the Anabaptism movement with the Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday worship materials.
Photo: Iglesia Del Dios Viviente Rama, Nicaragua
Pins on the map represent congregations celebrating AWFS. Is your church missing? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.