The General Council of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) recently affirmed the appointment of Linda Dibble, Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) moderator, and Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada, as the North American representatives on MWC’s Executive Committee.
“I’m excited about meeting so many people and hearing faith stories from around the world,” said Dibble. “I hope this relationship with MWC will allow me to bring information and inspiration to MC USA. I look forward to working more closely on the Executive Committee with Doug.”
Dibble is filling a previously vacated position and will complete the remaining three years of the six-year term. She is a retired chaplain, who attends Albany (Oregon) Mennonite Church. Dibble has served as moderator of MC USA since 2021, and previously served as moderator elect. Klassen will serve a six-year term.
The General Council also affirmed the appointment of MC USA’s Sue Park-Hur, director of racial/ethnic engagement, to its Deacons Commission, which focuses on the welfare of the churches within MWC. She will serve a six-year term.
“I look forward to walking and listening to how the Holy Spirit is moving through the global church,” said Park-Hur, “and how we can best encourage and empower one another in our calling to serve the local body with care and prayer.”
Dibble, Park-Hur and MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton served as delegates to the General Council meeting on July 1-4, 2022, in Semarang, Indonesia. See Guyton’s vlog here.
An outbreak of COVID-19 shortened the meeting. As a result, the delegates discussed many topics, but only voted to approve the following:
- Minutes from the previous General Council meeting in April 2018
- Affirmation of new appointees
- Acceptance of two new national member churches (Communauté Mennonite de Kinshasa, DR Congo, and Mennonite Brethren Church in Malawi).
The General Council authorized the Executive Committee to decide on the remaining proposals. One of these is a name change for MWC to Anabaptist Mennonite World Communion. The Faith and Life Commission recommended the new name to better reflect MWC’s vision, mission and members
Other proposed actions include:
- New financial projections and changes to the fair share system by which denominations donate to MWC.
- A commitment to study and provide feedback on “Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church,” a study document resulting from the Trilateral Dialogue on Baptism between Mennonites, Lutherans and Roman Catholics, 2012-2017.
- Approval and adoption of the statement “Declaration on Conscientious Objection,” a document prepared by the MWC Peace Commission in response to requests from several MWC member churches because of their ongoing struggle regarding military conscription. The statement reaffirms MWC’s Shared Commitments and says, “We as Mennonite World Conference are dedicated to Jesus and his example and understanding of peace … His example also forms the foundation for our understanding of conscientious objection — objecting to participation in mechanisms, systems, and actions that lead to war, violence, and death.”
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 550 congregations and 59,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 59 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. mennoniteUSA.org
For more information about the MWC General Council meeting and assembly:
By MC USA staff