Assembly music: “A mountaintop experience”

Mark Wenger, singer, bass 

Franconia Mennonite Church, Telford, Pennsylvania, USA 
Assembly 16: PA 2015 

“I was the old guy in the worship team. My favorite memory is the exuberance and joy of making music together with songs from all around the world. It was hard work in preparation, but terrific fun in the performance and leading.” 

“The global Mennonite family has matured and is mutually enriching and supporting congregations all around the world. North America is not the center of the Mennonite church, nor its theology. I regularly remind my congregation about this.” 

Paul Dueck, conductor 

Assembly 15: Paraguay 2009 

“MWC Assembly in Paraguay in 2009 was a mountaintop experience for me. It was a great privilege for me to work with a group of amazing musicians and together lead in the singing at the worship sessions. I keep in contact with most of the people in this group.”  

“One of the most memorable experiences was when the lights went out in the middle of the day. Since the church had no windows, we sat in total darkness. [The music team] scrambled onto the stage and miraculously were able to lead familiar heart songs in several languages until the lights were restored. The final song was ‘Siyahamba’ (We are marching in the light of God).” 

Agus Setianto, singer 

GKMI Gloria Patri, Semarang, Indonesia 
Assembly 14: Zimbabwe 2003 

“An unforgettable moment was when I led the morning worship and Marilyn Houser Hamm, our leader, announced that I was celebrating my birthday that day. On 16 August 2003, 7 000 people from all over the world, sang for me on my birthday! That was amazing.” 

Marisol Arriaga Aranda, singer and guitarist 

Assembly 16: PA 2015 

“Todo el encuentro del congreso mundial menonita para mí es un recuerdo maravilloso, pero en especial les contaré cuando estábamos en uno de los momentos de oración previa a la participación coral… Mi hermana me comunicó que operarían de emergencia a mi sobrinita de 9 años. En ese momento yo quise compartir con todo el grupo que intercedieran por mi sobrina y fue un momento de comunión muy hermosa. esto dio paz a mi corazón y comuniqué a mi hermana que en el grupo coral estuvimos orando por mi sobrina. Agradezco a Dios que la operación de mi sobrina salió bien.” 

“Me ha motivado a tener una visión global de nuestras comunidades anabautistas. Sobre todo, en la unión e integración de culturas y naciones que enriquecen nuestra manera de hacer comunidad; un ambiente libre, creativo y lleno de esperanza. Un lugar de adoración con una atmósfera de multiforme gracia de Dios.” 

Saptojoadi, Singer and guitarist 

GITJ Banyutowo, Indonesia 
Assembly 15: Paraguay 2009 

“I was very excited to be member of international choir and music at the Assembly. I played a borrowed guitar with two others. For one week, my new musician friends Paraguay, Canada, USA, Germany, France and DR Congo practiced 42 songs from many countries. I enjoyed the traditional music of Paraguay.” 

“In the Assembly service, Mr. Paul Dueck gave me opportunity to sing [my original composition] Dhuh Pangeran twice. I was so proud singing my song before about 5 000 people from around the world. I am so proud too because many people like this song. Because of Dhuh Pangeran, I know people in MWC and friends from Voices Together Hymnal editor and many Anabaptist people.” 

“I continue singing from the MWC International Songbook (2009) at home. I have translated some of them. and converted the note music into number notation. I want to show those songs to our members church and sing them in our language.”  

“Dodó Miranda” Adão João Gomes de Miranda, vocalist  

Assembly 16: PA 2015 

“I have learned a lot from last conference specially tolerance, and paying more attention to other. May God keep capacitating us to better serve his ministry.” 

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