Posted: January 27, 2020
Crossing barriers at Assembly 2021 in Indonesia begins with the Assembly program committee. These volunteers appointed to develop the activities and schedule of Mennonite World Conference’s flagship event, the global Assembly, come from 5 different continents and span from their twenties to their sixties.
The six-person program committee met in Indonesia 1–5 November 2019 to develop daily themes and begin to plan the program that will inspire and connect attendees at Assembly in Semarang, Indonesia, 6–11 July 2021.
“It has been an incredible experience to see how despite all of our geographical divides, our team has been able to work together as we follow Jesus across our national borders,” says Natalie Frisk.
Barriers of age also concern them.
Youth may feel excluded from important decision-making processes, leadership development or simply being seen as an integral part of the church, says Jardely Martínez. “Both a challenge and a hope is that the youth can be a part of the kind of church they envision, able to discover and share their gifts within the community and that they can have spaces to exchange and learn from other Young AnaBaptists (YABs) around the globe.”
The program committee assigned a theme for each day of Assembly:
Tuesday, opening service: Following Jesus together across barriers
Wednesday: Following Jesus – learning together
Thursday: Following Jesus – living together
Friday: Following Jesus – caring together
Saturday: Following Jesus – celebrating together
Sunday: Following Jesus together
“These themes join together discipleship, peace, and reconciliation, giving space for listening, learning, and empathizing,” says Benjamin Bergey.
Contributions each day will come from one of the five continental regions (North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa). Sunday will have an international focus and the annual Renewal 2027 event.
Each day’s activities will begin with singing, followed by two speeches (one by a young person). Next, participants will meet in small groups.
Participants in the youth and teen program will have separate group meetings and a separate evening plenary followed by optional late-night activities. Programming for children will begin after the morning singing and end before supper.
Registration will open December 2020.
“At Assembly, we will be gathered from different cultures across the world,” says Estifanos Gedlu. “It is exciting to experience the beauty of following Jesus who shattered the barriers and dividing walls.”
Members of the Assembly program committee
- Benjamin Bergey (USA) – music
- Frieder Boller (Germany) – plenary sessions
- Natalie Frisk (Canada) – children
- Estifanos Gedlu (Ethiopia) – workshops
- Jardely Martínez (Colombia) – youth and teen
- Jessica Mondal Lakra (India) – Global Church Village
—Mennonite World Conference release