MWC reps to deepen global church connections through US tour

 News Service
January 18, 2011
Kitchener, Ontario—An international team from Mennonite World Conference (MWC) will visit MWC member churches in the eastern and midwestern United States, January 28 to February 24.
Led by Bert Lobe, MWC’s North American staff representative, the group hopes to strengthen connections between the North American churches and the global church.
The group will travel by van through Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kansas. They will stop at churches, church offices, schools and colleges to present the work of MWC through storytelling, Powerpoint visuals and sermons.
“The goal is not so much to report,” Lobe said. “Rather, we want to engage in conversation about the significance of the church, wherever it exists within our communion.”
Besides Lobe, the group includes Cynthia Peacock of Kolkata, India, a veteran of Mennonite church and development work in India, and chair of MWC’s Deacon Commission; Sisca Mawangu Ibanda of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, an MWC Executive Committee member and a leader of several development programs in Congo; and Carlos Álvarez Woo of Bogotá, Colombia, MWC Youth Task Force member and special projects administrator for Compassion International.
The visit follows the pattern of a similar delegation two years ago in anticipation of the July 2009 MWC assembly in Paraguay. As with that visit, regional offices of MWC member churches and Mennonite Central Committee are planning local itineraries and arranging hospitality in homes.
Lobe, whose work in church relations is based in MWC’s Kitchener, Ontario, office, acknowledged that MWC support base in North America is very broad. “However, we still need to deepen our understanding of the global church and its strengths,” he said. By sharing perspectives from churches on four continents, the team hopes to establish those deeper bonds.
Byron Rempel-Burkholder
MWC news service.
Mennonite World Conference is a communion (Koinonia) of Anabaptist-related churches linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service, and witness.