This article was originally published by The Mennonite

MC USA committee begins developing MennoCon21 theme, worship experience

Photo: From top left: Kay Schroeder, Shannon Dycus, Scott Hartman, Seth Crissman, Ana Alicia Hinojosa, Shana Peachey Boshart, Hendy Stevan Matahelemual, Joanne Dietzel, Sarah Chase, Chris Cox, Tim Blaum and Curt Weaver. Photos provided by MC USA.

In anticipation of the 2021 Mennonite Church USA convention, MennoCon21, a group of MC USA pastors, leaders and youth gathered in January to begin developing the theme and worship experience, to be built around the theme #BringThePeace.

#BringThePeace is MC USA’s call to action for individuals and congregations to extend peace in their communities. It is grounded in MC USA’s Renewed Commitments, which says, “We are called to extend God’s holistic peace, proclaiming Christ’s redemption for the world with our lives.”

The committee gathered Jan. 16-18 in Cincinnati. MennoCon21 will take place July 6-10, 2021, at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

“#BringThePeace is a timely theme for 2021,” says Scott Hartman, director of MC USA event planning. “As a historic peace church, we must emphasize the ways that we are continuing to join the work God is doing in the world today.”

The planning committee, which will gather once more in 2020 to further develop plans, spent time at its meeting reflecting on scriptures, touring the convention center and considering speakers and feedback collected from the previous convention, MennoCon19. Feedback was largely positive about the intergenerational worship services introduced at MennoCon19. Adjustments at MennoCon21 will include offering an additional quieter worship space without the lighting and sound levels of the primary worship hall.

“We are excited to journey toward peace and toward God together,” says Shannon Dycus, planning committee member and dean of students at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “Like a spiral, our planning group will return again to this conversation with God in more detailed and concrete ways until the July 2021 convention, when we experience the fullness of what God imagines for us.”

The MennoCon19 Worship Planning Committee members are:

  • Tim Blaum, user support specialist at Everence Financial Services
  • Chris Cox, youth pastor at Calvary Community Church in Hampton, Virginia
  • Seth Crissman, long-term missionary through Virginia Mennonite Missions
  • Joanne Dietzel, conference minister for Atlantic Coast Conference
  • Shannon Dycus, dean of students at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Ana Alicia Hinojosa, immigration education coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee
  • Hendy Stevan Matahelemual, pastor of formation and communication for Eastern District and Franconia Conference
  • Kay Schroeder, pastor of congregational life at Hesston (Kansas) Mennonite Church
  • Curt Weaver, pastor of children and youth at Portland (Oregon) Mennonite Church

The purpose of MC USA’s convention, which takes place every two years, is to gather MC USA for community, worship and faith formation.

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