Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has published its roster of equipping seminars for MennoCon21, the denomination’s biennial convention being held online and in-person in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 6-10, 2021. This is the first time that MC USA is offering equipping seminars online.
Equipping seminars are interactive learning experiences that introduce practical tools, skills, habits or frameworks that participants can put into practice.
“Equipping seminars are designed to nurture members toward spiritual maturity,” said Shana Peachey Boshart, MC USA denominational minister for Faith Formation. “We’re equipping Mennonites to be a contrast society in today’s world.”
The roster for in-person attendees features more than 70 equipping seminars, one-third of which are designed for youth. Seminars are one-hour long and are presented by denominational leaders and experts. Adult seminars are open to all ages and address topics such as faith, health, finances and social justice.
Youth seminars are geared specifically toward youth interests and address subjects such as sports, peacemaking, communication, creation care, careers and more. Each youth seminar is offered twice during convention week for maximum engagement.
MC USA is also offering a roster of 20 online-only equipping seminars, featuring eight English-language seminars for adults and eight for youth. The seminars will be available on Pheedloop, a customized, easy-to-use virtual event platform. They will be pre-recorded and front-loaded so that online participants may watch them at their leisure or as a group. Log–in access to Pheedloop will be shared with online registrants prior to convention. Each online seminar also includes a live, text-based chat with the presenter, which will be aired during convention week. All virtual seminars will be available on Pheedloop for one month after convention. In-person attendees may purchase access to the online seminars for an additional fee during registration.
For Spanish speakers attending MennoCon21 in person, Hispanic church leaders will host a series of round-table discussions as an alternative to seminars. Meanwhile, virtual attendees will have access to several Spanish-language seminars.
Equipping seminars will be held in the afternoons during convention week. The schedule, showing the times and dates for each seminar, will be published in the program book. The program book will be available onsite at in-person registration and will be posted on the MennoCon21 website.
Equipping seminar proposals are vetted by MC USA ministerial staff to meet recommended criteria. It is expected that seminars will be aligned with the vision of MC USA’s Renewed Commitments, appeal to a wide constituency and provide specialized or expert insight on a specific topic. Church agencies and affiliated ministries, seminaries, colleges and universities and designated constituency groups are given priority and provide many of the seminars. The staff strives to achieve a balance of topics and a diversity of presenters.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 58 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. https://www.mennoniteusa.org/