- Worship Resource
To: All Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Anabaptist-related churches in the world
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is with great joy that we share the materials for Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday (AWFS) with all of you. MWC creates worship resource materials three times a year for member churches: Peace Sunday (18 September, 2022), YABs (Young AnaBaptists) Fellowship Week (3rd week of June) and for Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday (22 January 2023).
Each year for AWFS, we encourage Anabaptist-related churches across the globe to use a common theme in a worship service to connect with our global Anabaptist family. Many churches choose to celebrate on the Sunday closest to 21 January (in 2023: 22 January), although some choose Pentecost Sunday or other alternate dates. On 21 January 1525, the first Anabaptist baptisms took place in Zurich, Switzerland.
AWFS is an opportunity to remind our communities of faith that we are all part of one body made up of many tribes, languages and nations (Revelation 7:9).
- It is proclamation that there is no discrimination among us on any basis (Galatians 3:28).
- It is a demonstration that we are following Jesus as new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17) who mutually support one another, walk with those who suffer, serve the world and interdependently learn together.
On this day, we celebrate that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ has overcome the cultural and national barriers that separate us.
In 2022, many of us were able to gather with joy, in person and online, for our MWC’s global Assembly in Indonesia, but that is a small portion of our global faith family. AWFS makes it possible for every local congregation to join in shared worship, in spirit, in their own time, own place, and in their own way.
Each year, a different part of our global communion assembles worship resources for AWFS. The theme for AWFS 2023 is “Jesus Christ: Our Hope,” with the worship resources coming from our African sisters and brothers.
The materials contain biblical texts, prayers, song suggestions, sermon ideas, stories and multimedia resources.
Worship leaders and pastors can select a little or a lot to celebrate AWFS in whatever way they desire. We hope all local congregations will acknowledge belonging to this global faith family in some form in January 2023.
Please note that MWC has a Speakers’ Bureau (mwc-cmm.org/speakersbureau) where you can invite MWC people from near and far to share in local congregations.
See attached, and online at mwc-cmm.org/awfs.
At MWC, we welcome your comments, photos and reflections about AWFS to share with other members of our global faith family. Send photos and stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Offerings received on this day and shared with MWC contribute toward each member church’s Fair Share contributions and help our global community to continue as a foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God in the midst of our society.
Grace and peace,
César García, General Secretary and Arli Klassen, Regional Representatives Coordinator