ICOMB meetings focus on mission

The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) met in Asuncion prior to the Mennonite World Conference Assembly, with only Uruguay and Angola representatives missing.

Major time was spent with MBMS International on “mission capacity building.” In each country where Mennonite Brethren live, there are mission opportunities. For example, 4,000 people groups in India have never seen a Christian. Many parts of Europe have left faith behind.

MBMSI will seek to “help release energy and capacity to bring the gospel to the least reached people close to us” in cooperation with ICOMB. They intend to come alongside MB conferences as they set up their mission agencies. The central worldwide mission coordinating agency will not be MBMSI, but the Global Mission Alliance.

The delegation rejoiced to see the successful completion of the ICOMB Confession of Faith study guide in English, Spanish, and German. French and Russian translations will be completed this fall. The India conference is publishing in Telugu. ICOMB’s vision is for people to study the Confession in small groups to reinforce the confessional values.

ICOMB has also completed a collected history of our movement worldwide, ready for publishing in English, French, Spanish, and German.

Dalton Reimer reported on a groundbreaking consultation on education in May 2009 in Kinshasa, DR Congo. (See “Historic consultation,” August MB Herald.) ICOMB members voted to invite Mennonite World Conference to continue as a partner to implement the 10 proposed actions. They also voted to endorse the “Mennonite Global Learning Network,” a ministry started by Reimer to engage long-term with this project.

ICOMB further voted to affirm the second global higher education consultation in 2011, as follow-up to a 2007 event.

The 150th anniversary celebrations of the MB movement are taking shape for 2010. The official ICOMB meeting will be held in Germany May 21, with a trip to Switzerland and Ukraine to view the location of the origins of Anabaptism and the Mennonite Brethren. A second celebration event will take place in B.C., July 12-18, 2010.

Member conference conflict continues to be a concern. The delegates discussed how ICOMB might become involved in conflicted areas.

The financial report revealed good health in ICOMB’s budget. Conferences are contributing. The annual cost of meeting and of the executive secretary’s office is $60,000.

—David Wiebe, ICOMB secretary

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