MKC promises memorable and inspirational MWC assembly

Desalegn Abebe of MKC, left, and Hank Stenvers. — Liesa Unger

The Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Ethiopia in 2028 took its first steps toward celebration with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and appointment of a national advisory council. 

In January, MWC leaders Liesa Unger, Sunoko Lin, Lisa Carr-Pries and Henk Stenvers  visited Ethiopia. They met with local leaders from MWC member Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) and viewed potential venues in Addis Ababa and Bishoftu. 

Four representatives were appointed to the national advisory council: Tewodros Beyene, chair; Tewodros Moges, vice chair; Tigist Tesfaye, recording secretary; Aboma Tefera, communications representative; and a youth representative that is pending.

The role of the national advisory council is to provide counsel to MWC on planning the Assembly, to assure participation from the host conference, to assess the gifts MKC can contribute, to initiate local fundraising and to communicate about the event with local congregations.  

“It is an honor to host the 2028 MWC that coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Mennonite movement,” said Desalegn Abebe, MKC president. Mennonite World Conference commemorates 500 years since the first Anabaptist baptisms in Zurich, Switzerland, with a 10-year series of Renewal events from 2017-2028. “MKC will do everything at its capacity to make the conference memorable and inspirational,” he said. 

“We are pleased to celebrate this historic event in Ethiopia, home to the largest single MWC national member church,” said Henk Stenvers, MWC president. “Expressions of Anabaptism today are vibrant and growing around the world, particularly in Africa.” 

MWC global assemblies often take place in July. However, Ethiopia’s rainy season makes that an unsuitable time. January (coinciding with the holiday season for Coptic Christmas in Ethiopia), April (Easter) and August are potential times for the global gathering.  

“We look forward to welcoming thousands of Anabaptist-Mennonites from around the world for five days of worship, learning, experiences and building relationship across cultures in Ethiopia in 2028,” said Liesa Unger.  

A slightly different version of this article originally appeared April 25 on Mennonite World Conference’s website.

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