Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is unveiling a new way for individual congregations of MWC member churches to participate in and be supportive of the global church and MWC.
Called Global Church Congregations (GCC), this new initiative had its trial run at the 2006 General Council meetings in Pasadena, California.
A dozen congregations – all of them from North America – made financial contributions to the MWC travel fund, sent participants to the General Council meetings, and agreed to host delegates from churches in other countries after the Pasadena meetings.
GCC is again operating in connection with MWC’s Assembly 15, scheduled for July 14–19, 2009, in Asunción, Paraguay. The goal is that at least 30 congregations from throughout the world, not just North America, will participate.
The congregations will be paired to:
- establish a congregational communication and prayer link with each other and with MWC;
- send a delegate from each congregation to MWC gatherings as possible;
- study one of the Anabaptist Shelf book selections;
- agree upon and make an annual per member contribution to MWC according to MWC’s fair share formula.
MWC will administer the program by developing publicity, processing applications, pairing successful applicants, and providing communications and informational support. It is hoped, however, that the program will be largely self-administered with congregational pairs making use of each other’s gifts to resolve problems and meet challenges. Administrative leadership for GCC will be provided by MWC staff from Kinshasa, DR Congo.
GCC is seen as a natural continuation of MWC’s emphasis on global gift sharing. The program also follows decisions taken by the 2006 MWC General Council to extend participant status to congregations of MWC member churches willing to make certain commitments to the global communion. GCC is seen as the vehicle for this participation.
MWC will encourage congregational pairs to develop their relationship over at least three years and include either an MWC Global Assembly or General Council meeting. See
www.mwc-cmm.org for more information and application forms.