Like the chambers of a heart, the four MWC commissions serve the global community of Anabaptist-related churches, in the areas of Deacons, Faith and Life, Peace, Mission. Commissions prepare materials for consideration by the General Council, give guidance and propose resources to member churches, and facilitate MWC-related networks or fellowships working together on matters of common interest and focus.
Get to know a Commission member: Adriana Belinda Rodriguez Velasquez
How does this Commission practice being together in Christ?
Our approach is to use a message that promotes peace. We use one that is different from the run of the mill notion of peace, one that is Christian and holistic in nature, touching on all aspects of life.
The Comission visited our fellow believers in Hong Kong. They are dealing with similar issues to the ones that we as commission members face on our own continents and in our own countries. This common ground allowed us to walk with them.
The Commision prepares materials for Peace Sunday that encourage and motivate people to reflect on peace in a holistic manner.
What is one example of the Commission’s togetherness?
Unity can be seen in the Commission when we work as a team and when we take one another into account.
Given that I do not speak English, others always strive to make sure there is translation and space for me to participate. Unity is preserved because we consider one another’s limitations and specific needs for participation.
Why are you pleased to serve on this Commission?
We are responsible for sensitizing and educating people about the importance of working for peace. There is a larger vision and opportunity to reach more people that flowed from the last Congress. I participated in Renewal 2019 in Costa Rica where I was given the chance to present and it was written up in Courier/Correo/Courrier magazine. It’s a platform for sharing the message and sensitizing people as part of the Christian walk, and also as part of my work as a psychologist. I give thanks to God for this opportunity.
What is the name of your local church?
Caminando con Dios, part of the Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Hondureña
How do you serve the Mennonite church in your daily life outside of your Commission work?
I belong to the Anabaptist Women Doing Theology in Latin America Movement (MTAL). Each year we produce a devotional. I was a contributing author.
I provide accompaniment in instances of conflict amongst church members, either as a mediator or as part of a commission, or with some other special intervention.
I teach both adults and children in my congregation. I have been part of the worship team. The congregation often asks me to collaborate in the organization, planning and logistics of social outreach projects.
At a national level, I offer my experience to the church. Recently I offered to help them develop and write their proposal to access funds for addressing the effects of the pandemic.
How do you experience togetherness in the body of Christ in your daily life?
The pandemic has caused us to maintain and preserve close communication and a special unity. Prayer times have been a feature right from the start of it.
We look out for ways to support members and their families because we understand the impact of illness on them and know the risks inherent in the health care system. This is how to live out unity in the body of Christ. We have tried to be creative and reinvent relationships.
How has being part of MWC affected your local congregation?
The church is not an island. We are not just Hondurans in the church - we are part of Mennonite World Conference.
It communicates that we are backed by a broader fellowship, and this stimulates and motivates us.