The Mennonite World Conference Executive Committee has announced that the format for the upcoming hybrid global gathering will include limited on-site attendees and many options for online attendees. MWC Assembly 17 is hosted by the three Indonesian Anabaptist-Mennonite synods in Central Java, Indonesia, July 5-10 2022.
MWC Assembly 17 in Indonesia will welcome 700 on-site participants with the option of additional Indonesian guests for opening night and closing service. Due to COVID-19 regulations, 700 is the number currently possible.
Registration for online participation opened in December 2021. Registration for on-site Assembly opened March 8, 2022.
Mennonite World Conference’s Assembly, which normally gathers thousands of Anabaptists from around the globe every six years, was postponed from 2021 to 2022 due to the pandemic.
Program includes live-stream evening sessions
Sangkakala Seminary (STT), a JKI seminary located outside Salatiga, will host most of the plenary sessions. In addition, “satellite” meeting places at four local congregations will live-stream evening plenaries, while the international choir sings at STT. The closing service will be celebrated at JKI Holy Stadium in Semarang.
“This way, online participants can ‘travel’ with us to different places in Indonesia,” says Liesa Unger, MWC chief international events officer.
Most of the afternoon activities—including workshops, Global Church Village, fun and games, and children’s program—and lodging will take place at two hotels in Salatiga. Morning and late-night youth program will also take place at the hotel’s indoor and outdoor venues.
Registration categories provide for full representation
A little less than half of the 700 registration spaces for on-site Assembly are reserved for Indonesian registrants, divided up between full participation and daily participation. The remaining registration spaces will be divided equally between the four registration categories (based on national GDP), to give members from each region opportunity to participate.
“This mode for Assembly increases complexities in planning but offers more opportunity for local church members to engage with international visitors, creates more opportunities for online participants to get to know Indonesia and to respond faster to possible health concerns,” Unger says.
Online options for Indonesia 2022
Those who register as online participants will have access to a virtual hub, the “home-base” of online Assembly. According to the MWC website, through the hub participants will enter into the virtual Assembly world.
Participants will be able to access daily plenaries as live stream, participate in hybrid and online workshops and discussions and follow Assembly on-site through vlogs and in a mixed online and on-site small group. There will be exhibits of MWC related organization, concerts, children and youth activities.
Online events will stay in the virtual hub for several weeks, so registered guests can re-visit sessions.
Global Youth Summit is in person
The Global Youth Summit (GYS) delegates and 60 full-time participants will attend the summit, organized around the theme “Life in the Spirit: Learn, Serve, Worship.” The summit, to be held July 1-4, 2022, will be held in Salatiga, Central Java. Local Indonesian young adults can join for the evening worship organized by GYS delegates of different continents.
General Council, other meetings move online
The General Council meetings that precede the Assembly will take place online.
“With additional visa required and quarantine periods changing frequently, the financial risk of ballooning lodging costs and rescheduling flights for more than 100 General Council delegates is too great,” says César García, MWC general secretary.
Meetings involving the Executive Committee, Commission chairs and secretaries and MWC staff will take place in Indonesia. These groups, which normally meet face-to-face, have not been together in person since before the pandemic began.
Further information regarding workshops, network meetings, Assembly Scattered tours and lodging options will be posted on the registration site.
“We want as many people as possible to come,” says Paulus Widjaja, chair of the National Advisory Committee in Indonesia. “We first dreamed of it in Paraguay in 2009. The pandemic discouraged us, but we are still very enthusiastic to bring people to Indonesia.”
For more information on Assembly 17, visit the MWC website.