“The entire assembly is an opportunity to meet people from other countries,” says Jessica Mondal, coordinator of the Global Church Village. “But at the Global Church Village, we can see, touch and taste things from other cultures.”
Displays and presentations teach about cultural and ecclesial practices in other regions. Storytelling puts faces to stories the news media covered – or left out.
“We are all part of the same global church,” says Jessica Mondal. “Hearing from others broadens our horizons and helps to understand.”
The Global Church Village stage features live performances of song, poetry, drama, dance and storytelling in 30-minute blocks; booths display artefacts and activities from around the world.
Livestream from the stage will be posted to the Assembly Hub for watching in the moment or at a later time. Vlogs (video blogs) uploaded to the Hub will share the experience from GCV through interviews and descriptions.
“Anyone can present: we’re not looking for professionals,” says Jessica Mondal. “This is a more relaxed atmosphere for people to share something from home. Participants can just enjoy: hear my language, my music, my stories; taste my food and touch my fabrics.”
All on-site registrants may bring something to share about their culture.
Common artefacts at past Assemblies include snacks and cultural specialities, traditional clothing and jewelry, flags, maps, banners, posters and charts explaining Anabaptist-Mennonite history and relationships, and liturgical items.
Indonesian participants are preparing a coffee display. “Maybe participants from Ethiopia will also teach us about coffee, and those from Paraguay about terere/maté?” says Jessica Mondal.
Global Church Village has been part of Assembly since the Kolkata Assembly in 1997 where teenaged Jessica Mondal was volunteer youth steward. A vivid memory she cherishes is the quilt making session: “North Americans cut out pieces of fabric that participants could stitch together in the GCV hut. At the end, it made an HIV-AIDS quilt that went around to several countries, raising awareness.”
The GCV stage livestream (noon to 17:30 Semarang time*) will be available in the Assembly Hub. Online participants can join the contests and scavenger hunts and chat spaces.
*Click here to find the time in your region
*Click here to sign up to contribute to the stage