Postpones Assembly, adjusts terms of service, financial policies
“Like the Israelites in the desert, as recorded in the book of Numbers, we’re on a journey together, trusting in God’s daily provision and presence,” said J. Nelson Kraybill, MWC president, to open the second set of online meetings of the Executive Committee.
MWC’s Executive Committee met virtually a second time in 2020, from 18 – 19 August, to replace cancelled in-person meetings and a postponed Renewal 2027 event in British Columbia, Canada.
The global pandemic has caused unexpected turns in the journey of Mennonite World Conference. Considering the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee of the host country, the Executive Committee agreed to postpone the global Assembly planned for Indonesia until 2022. Timing and venue will remain the same.
Delaying this event with attendant meetings requires a change to term endings for General Council and Executive Committee members and MWC Officers, including the MWC President. The Executive Committee agreed by consensus on a proposal to extend these terms by one year until the new Assembly date. The matter proceeds to General Council members via email for final approval.
Financially, giving is in line with previous years at this point, reports Chief Operations Officer Len Rempel. Expenses are below budget due to reduced travel; however, Fair Share contributions from national churches have been coming in slower than anticipated.
“Some parts of the world have entered into recession due to the pandemic. This may impact giving from individuals as well as member churches’ ability to meet their commitments later in the year,” says Len Rempel.
The Executive Committee also approved changes to the Global Church Sharing Fund accounts: the newly formed Creation Care Task Force will be entrusted with use of the carbon offset fund originally collected under auspices of the Global Church Sharing Fund. The usual management fee will not apply to the COVID-19 response fund so all donations can go directly to grants to meet needs for food, hygiene items and health education in countries of the Global South.
A proposal to change the name of Mennonite World Conference to be more inclusive of all its Anabaptist members and its function as a global communion (not merely a periodic event), remains under discussion.
“We have a goal and that is the Kingdom of God. Sometimes it is easy going, along with good friends. Sometimes one gets lost and lonely. But we keep on going. In faith,” says Wieteke vanderMolen, Executive Committee representative for Europe.
—Mennonite World Conference release