Mennonite World Conference on April 22 announced the formation of a creation-care task force and the selection of Ethiopia to host the 2027 global assembly.
Meeting March 30-April 2 by video conference after an in-person gathering in British Columbia was canceled, the MWC Executive Committee also received a report on the completion of a five-year dialogue on baptism with Catholics and Lutherans.
The creation-care task force will raise awareness and propose actions for the global church family.
“The young people in my congregation observe that [creation care] begins with them,” said MWC vice president Rebecca Osiro of Kenya. “I hope this task force will find ways of reaching out to engage with even more people within our national churches.”
In selecting Ethiopia as the 2027 assembly site, the committee accepted an invitation from the Meserete Kristos Church, MWC’s largest national member church.
World assemblies are held every six years. The 17th assembly is scheduled for July 6-11, 2021, in Indonesia.
Dialogue on baptism
The Executive Committee received a report on “Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church.”
The report is the result of five years of dialogue between representatives of MWC, the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The MWC Faith and Life Commission is developing a study guide for churches to explore the implications of the report and act on its recommendations.
“We urge pastors and leaders to mine this resource,” said MWC President J. Nelson Kraybill. “We can learn from other traditions and appreciate their perspective even as we strengthen our own theological foundations.”
MWC general secretary César García said the dialogue “gives specific recommendations that imply changes in relation to the reception of members raised in traditions that practice infant baptism. We want to be intentional about studying this document.”
The committee also approved a memorandum of understanding with Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. This opens the door for AMBS to work with theological institutions in the Global South.
To replace the Renewal 2027 gathering in British Columbia that was canceled this year due to COVID-19, the committee invited North American churches to host the next Renewal 2027 event in 2022.