Kick-off Celebrations Held for 2015 MWC Assembly

MWC leaders join in the kick-off celebration. Left to right: Vikal P. Rao of India, Assembly Program Committee; Liesa Unger of Germany, MWC’s Chief International Events Officer; and César García of Colombia, MWC’s General Secretary. Photo by Merle Good

MWC leaders join in the kick-off celebration. Left to right: Vikal P. Rao of India, Assembly Program Committee; Liesa Unger of Germany, MWC’s Chief International Events Officer; and César García of Colombia, MWC’s General Secretary. Photo by Merle Good

Harrisburg and Mount Joy, Pennsylvania – Mennonites and Brethren in Christ in eastern Pennsylvania enthusiastically welcomed Mennonite World Conference leaders on Sunday 20 July at two kick-off celebrations, exactly one year in advance of the opening of the 21-26 July 2015 MWC Assembly, Pennsylvania 2015 (PA 2015).

One event was held in the morning at Harrisburg Brethren in Christ Church. The afternoon event took place at Mt. Joy Mennonite Church.

César García, MWC’s General Secretary, introduced the Assembly theme, “Walking with God.” He pointed out that the theme is drawn from the Road-to-Emmaus story, in which the disciples seem to be in a contentious discussion, but they still walk side by side. “Only when they were seated at the table, communing together, did they discover who Jesus was. When we are together in communion, we see with different eyes. And we discover Jesus in a new way.”

Song writers Frances Crowhill Miller and Daryl Snider, along with song leader Marcy Hostetler, led the afternoon audience of some 300 in rousing international singing.

Vikal P. Rao of India, a member of the Assembly program committee, gave the audience a glimpse of the Global Church Village. The Village will be a performance area within the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, where PA 2015 will be held. “Every afternoon during the Assembly, our stage will be filled with storytelling, drama, and music. We will celebrate our diversity within the unity of MWC!”

Joanne Dietzel, a member of Mennonite Church USA, one of the hosting groups, introduced the Prayer Network. “We face two pressing concerns as hosts of PA 2015. Will all of our sisters and brothers from the Global South who want to join the Assembly be able to get visas to enter the U.S.? And will those of us who live in North America be willing to offer hospitality of the heart to our guests? Will we step out of our overly-busy lives and fully join the week of worship, fellowship, and service, from 21-26 July next year?”

For more information about the 2015 MWC Assembly, go to mwc-cmm.org/pa2015.

MWC release by Phyllis Pellman Good of Lancaster, PA, a writer and editor for Mennonite World Conference.

 

 

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EMU Announces 2014 Graduates

The following students were recognized as members of the 2014 graduating class of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., on Sunday, April 27.

*Alyssa Cable, a liberal arts degree recipient with an education licensure from Salisbury, Pa. She attends Kaufman Mennonite Church.

*Krista Rittenhouse, a liberal arts degree recipient from Mount Pleasant, Pa. She attends Scottdale Mennonite Church.

*Hannah Swartz, a nursing degree recipient from Rockville, Md. She attends Hyattsville Mennonite Church.

 

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World’s Attic Appreciates Volunteers

The annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for World’s Attic volunteers was held on June 21 at Kaufman Mennonite Church.  Approximately eighty people were present to enjoy a delicious meal, a bit of business, and wonderful entertainment.

Chick Kanode notes increased sales and contributions to MCC.

Chick Kanode notes increased sales and contributions to MCC.

The business portion of the evening involved a very uplifting report by Charles Kanode, board treasurer, who presented a five year history of the gross sales and MCC contributions by World’s Attic.  in 2009-2010 sales were  $41,640 which resulted in a contribution of $12, 619 to MCC.  In the current fiscal year (which ends on June 30) sales are very close to reaching $80,000 with an MCC contribution of $25,000.  The board feels this significant increase is largely due to the hiring of a part-time manager, Sheri Speigle. Continue reading

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Song-Writing Challenge Presented

ASCIn an effort to promote songwriting among Mennonites in the United States, and to broaden the musical spectrum congregationally and communally, Mountain States Mennonite Conference is organizing the first Anabaptist Songwriting Challenge (ASC), which began on March 1, 2014.

Composers from all around the nation, people of all ages and speaking any language, qualify to participate in the ASC, by providing new compositions of music for the church. According to the organizers of the event, “What we are seeking are new songs with lyrics that expose Anabaptist/Mennonite values such as nonviolence, love of your enemy, reconciliation, life in community, etc. These compositions can be done in any musical genre and/or cultural expression.”

In the upcoming months, the panel of ASC judges comprised of musicians and theologians from various cultural backgrounds, will narrow the list of submissions to 10 finalists, whose music will be publicized and shared across the church. The top three songs will be awarded prizes of $1,000 each at the 2015 Mennonite Church USA convention held in Kansas City.

As we all know, music has and will continue to play a significant role in the spiritual and communal life of Anabaptist/Mennonite culture and faith formation.

The deadline to submit songs is October 1, 2014. For more information, visit the ASC website.

 

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