by Phyllis Pellman Good, for Mennonite World Conference
Whether you’re planning to attend the next Mennonite World Conference assembly, or just want to learn more about Anabaptists around the world, Mennonite World Conference staff have book recommendations for you.
“We should be well-informed hosts,” says Richard Thomas, who chairs the advisory council for the assembly. “Most of us probably can’t become fluent in Indonesian or Amharic or French between now and next July. But we can certainly learn more about our sister churches around the world.”
Five-volume global history series available
Mennonite World Conference recently commissioned a five-volume global history series, with one volume for each continent where Anabaptists live. The books are written by people from those continents and reflect the perspectives and experiences of the local churches. The series includes:Testing Faith and Tradition (Europe volume), Mission and Migration (Latin America volume), Anabaptist Songs in African Hearts (Africa volume), Churches Engage Asian Traditions (Asia volume), and Seeking Places of Peace (North America volume).
“I’m reading these books as one way to get myself ready for Pennsylvania 2015. I want to have a deeper understanding of how my sisters and brothers have found and sustained their faith,” said Thomas. “Many of them have survived wars and hunger and immense political pressure. Many have Muslim neighbors. I have so much to learn from them–and the histories tell those stories.”
Book about shared convictions
Thomas said he is also reading What We Believe Together: Exploring the “Shared Convictions” of Anabaptist-Related Churches, by Alfred Neufeld. The book is based on the Mennonite World Conference statement “Shared Convictions of Global Anabaptists,” and includes stories from around the world and questions for discussion.
Book discussions planned
Books discussions are being held around Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that will run through June 2015.
Conference staff are encouraging those unable to attend a book discussion to organize their own gathering, and use the books as Sunday School resources.
The assembly will be held July 21-26, 2015 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.