(Mennonite Church USA) – Scott Hartman, director of event planning for Mennonite Church USA, announced today that the denomination is continuing to plan for both in-person and virtual programming at MennoCon21, the biennial convention to be held July 6-10, 2021, at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
According to Hartman, the decision was made in conjunction with the Executive Committee of MC USA’s Executive Board, which emphasized attendee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and considered the financial impact of canceling contracts related to in-person programming. He added that the decision would likely be reviewed again before event registration begins on April 6.
“With the release of a vaccine by several different companies, the potential to host an in-person gathering looks better than before,” said Hartman. “MennoCon21 is still six months away, which allows time for more individuals to receive the vaccine.”
He added that meeting professionals are pointing to vaccine availability as a major factor in restarting large gatherings.
MC USA convention planning staff are monitoring gathering restrictions in Ohio and Cincinnati. Like many other states, Ohio currently is limiting capacity for group events.
“We will follow all safety protocols in place at the time of gathering,” said Hartman. “Virtual programming will mirror much of the in-person programming, so no one should feel pressure to attend if they don’t feel safe gathering in person.”
Visit the MennoCon21 website for more information about virtual and in-person schedules.
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. mennoniteUSA.org