By MC USA staff
Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has opened registration for both in-person and online attendance at MennoCon21, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 6-10, 2021. Registration rates, details and a downloadable registration worksheet are available at Convention.Mennoniteusa.org/registration/.
Reservations for housing at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati will open on April 13. Both hotels are within a few blocks of the Duke Energy Convention Center, where MennoCon21 will be held.
“There will be meaningful programming for youth and adults, whether they attend in-person or online,” said MC USA Event Manager Scott Hartman. “We have worked hard to ensure that our first hybrid convention will provide the kind of communal worship and learning opportunities that people have come to love and expect when they attend MennoCon.”
As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues to increase, the MC USA convention planning team continues to work with its partners in Cincinnati to determine any capacity restrictions. According to Hartman, there is flexibility in the convention center to allow MC USA to use different spaces for worship, depending on the number of registrants. All plans will continue to follow Ohio’s public health limitations.
Full registration for in-person attendance at MennoCon21 is $350 (with a $25 discount until May 1, 2021) and includes morning Bible study, five evening worship services, a robust slate of seminars for youth and adults, an exhibit area, lunch and a convention T-shirt. Attendees also can pay by the day. For an extra $10, in-person attendees can purchase access to the online platform and enjoy the virtual content for a month following convention.
Servant Projects will have a creative revamp at MennoCon21 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Coordinated by Mennonite Mission Network, these in-person community service activities will be replaced with Service in a Box. This resource will provide all registrants with materials designed to inspire them to engage in service in their local communities.
Children are welcome to attend MennoCon21, however, there will be no childcare or children’s programming due to pandemic restrictions. An unstaffed nursery will be available onsite. Registration for children age 4 and up includes a convention T-shirt and three lunches.
To engage children across the denomination in the convention theme of #BringThePeace, MC USA has created a free downloadable resource with activities related to the five biblical worship service themes. The resource uses every day, household items to demonstrate each lesson and will be available to all children prior to MennoCon21 on the convention website.
Registration for online attendance is $99 and includes access to Pheedloop, a user-friendly virtual event platform that will host livestreamed worship services, exclusive online-only seminars and a virtual exhibit space where attendees can see highlights from and interact with exhibitors. Online participants will receive a MennoCon21 T-shirt. They also will have extended access to the virtual programming for a month following the convention.
“The virtual experience provides a more economical way for people who have never attended convention to get a feel for what it’s like,” said Hartman.
He encourages participants, such as youth groups, to be creative in how they personalize their virtual convention experience.
“There are many ways to make this a unique experience,” said Hartman. “For example, a group could register and then gather each evening to watch worship together on an outdoor screen. Or they could host a themed dinner and watch the service in their church sanctuary. Youth and Bible study groups also could divide up to watch the same seminar and follow it up with a Zoom discussion.”
Mutual aid scholarships are available for anyone interested in participating in MennoCon21, whether virtually or in person. Applicants may request a scholarship to cover all or a portion of their registration fees (excludes travel and hotel) by applying here by April 30.
For those interested in helping others experience MennoCon21, contributions to the scholarship fund can be made here.
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/