Mennonite World Conference announced Aug. 20 it is postponing its global assembly until July 5-10, 2022.
The MWC Executive Committee made the decision in consultation with the national advisory committee in the host country, Indonesia.
The gathering, normally held every six years, was set to take place in July 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect hundreds of thousands of people each day. Restrictions of large-group gatherings are still in place, and travel is not advised,” said MWC President J. Nelson Kraybill. “These limitations will remain in place for many more months. The likelihood we can safely gather in person as a global family for group worship, service and learning in 2021 seems low. To allow both MWC staff and attendees to properly plan for the event, we have chosen to postpone it to 2022.”
National advisory council chair Paulus Widjaja said the Indonesian Mennonite churches are committed to hosting the assembly.
“Please continue to pray for the healing of the world, and for the assembly,” he said.
MWC’s Global Youth Summit is also delayed, moving to July 1-4, 2022, in Salatiga, Indonesia.
“The assembly venues will remain the same,” said Liesa Unger, MWC chief international events officer. “The gathering will still happen in Semarang at Holy Stadium at the beginning of July, but in 2022.”
A proposal to change the MWC name to be more inclusive of all its Anabaptist members and its function as a global communion, not merely a periodic event, remains under discussion.