Executive committee meets online
“The growth of digital platforms has increased the awareness of what our MWC family is doing during the pandemic,” says Carlos Martínez García, Executive Committee member for Latin America and the Caribbean. “I realize a greater awareness that we are a global community.”
With continuing pandemic restrictions on travel, 2021’s Executive Committee meetings take place three times throughout the year as two days of 90-minute meetings on Zoom.
At April’s meetings, the Executive Committee received reports from Administration, Commissions, Communications, Development, Operations, Regional Representatives and Mennonite Central Committee.
“In the midst of the pandemic, natural disasters and difficult circumstances, churches have found in MWC a source of inspiration, consolation and support that contributes to affirming their faith, strength and hope,” wrote Willi Hugo Perez, MWC regional representative for Latin America. The region has not only been battered by COVID-19 infections but also two hurricanes and existing crises of everyday violence and migration.
The pandemic resulted in job losses around the world which affected ability to give. Finances remain uncertain; however, cancelled travel resulted in expenses $150,000 lower than budgeted. “God surprised us this year,” says Sunoko Lin, MWC treasurer. “However, we still have a big task in raising funds for Assembly.”
MWC president J. Nelson Kraybill says: “The possibility of relying on Zoom opened our eyes to new possibilities for witness and fellowship.”
However, online meetings highlight inequities of internet quality. Problems connecting prevented attendance for parts of the meeting, including vice-president Rebecca Osiro from Kenya.
“Finding new ways to connect, missing the old, but also shedding some old habits that were keeping us back without noticing so, COVID-19 has broadened our practice and strengthened our faith. God works in digital ways too,” says Wieteke van der Molen, Executive Committee member for Europe.