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Ukraine MB Conference joins MWC

The Mennonite World Conference Executive Committee meets in April in Curitiba, Brazil. Photo: J Ron Byler

The Association of Christian Mennonite Brethren Churches of Ukraine (AMBCU) was one of two new membership applications accepted when Mennonite World Conference’s Executive Committee held its annual meeting in April 8-11 in Curitiba, Brazil.

The other national conference to join the global Anabaptist fellowship was Kanisa La Mennonite La Kiinjili Tanzania (KMKT – Evangelical Church of Tanzania). This brings MWC’s worldwide membership to 110 member churches in more than 10,000 congregations in 60 countries, with over 1.5 million baptized members.

The MWC Executive Committee also approved funding for theological education and carbon tax small grants.

For many years, MWC member churches have called for more opportunities for Anabaptist-rooted theological training.

“Now that the majority of our Anabaptist membership is in the Global South, we have a huge need to do theology, forming an Anabaptist identity in each context,” said César García, MWC general secretary. “We need to develop strong Anabaptist identities, focused on the centrality of Christ.”

The Theological Education Fund will offer scholarships for theological training for pastors and other church leaders in places where Anabaptist theological education is difficult to find, specifically in the Global South.

“We hope this will help leadership in our global communion more closely reflect the vision of Revelation 7 of a great multitude from every nation and people and language,” said García.

The Executive Committee also approved the creation of a Carbon Tax Small Grant Fund. Since 2010, MWC has set aside a carbon tax surcharge on all organizational air travel. The funds collected over the years will now be available to national member churches in the Global South to implement creation care projects with direct relevance to reducing carbon emissions.

The Executive Committee revised its Terms of Reference for how MWC networks are structured and how networks interact with Commissions. Emerging networks include the Global Anabaptist Education Network (GAEN), Global Anabaptist Health Network (GAHN) and Global Anabaptist Peace Network (GAPN). Existing networks are Global Mission Fellowship (GMF) and Global Anabaptist Service Network (GASN), part of the Mission Commission.

The Executive Committee also affirmed a proposed constitutional change that will make room for Young Anabaptists (YABs) delegates to become members of the General Council, which will be tabled at next year’s General Council meeting.

The Executive Committee approved the 2023 financial report and 2024 budget. It also considered proposals with the potential to redefine aspects of membership in MWC.

In addition to decision-making sessions, the Executive Committee also had three equipping sessions and did strategic planning for 2025 to 2031.

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