In 2017, Mennonite World Conference began a series of events called Renewal.
The original vision was organized with a view toward the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Anabaptist movement in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2025.
It included several key components:
- The event should honour the past but focus primarily on the present and the future.
- The event should take note of Anabaptist beginnings but should focus especially on the global witness of the church today, highlighting the expressions of Anabaptism in the cultural context of each host country.
- The event should connect with ordinary church members as they testify Holy Spirit’s presence in the church today.
The format of each Renewal event has varied. Sometimes it has been a day-long gathering, with meals and workshops. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted the event on-line as a global webinar. In Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, we celebrated with a two-hour evening worship service.
But at each occasion, we have sung together, prayed together, shared together, been inspired together and welcomed the presence of the Holy Spirit as the good news of the gospel continues to find expression in many different cultures and contexts.
Begun as a renewal movement, Anabaptism has endured only because each generation of Anabaptist-Mennonites has been renewed by a fresh movement of the Spirit.
Beginning in 2017 in Europe and culminating in 2028 in Ethiopia, the MWC Renewal initiative has celebrated this ongoing renewal of Anabaptism around the world.
Join us in 2024 as we celebrate the MWC Renewal event in Brazil, and then again for a global family reunion in Zurich in 2025.
And be sure to keep 2028 on your calendar when we gather for Assembly 18 to celebrate the remarkable ways that the Holy Spirit has been moving in the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia!
—John Roth, coordinator of Renewal events