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Mennonites participate in Conference on World Mission and Evangelism


May 16, 2005
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Over 500 delegates from around the world met in Athens from May 9-16 for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC). Among them was Janet Plenert, executive director of International Ministries for MennoniteChurch Canada.

The theme and sub-theme of the WCC event would resonate with many a Mennonite heart: “Come, Holy Spirit, heal and reconcile” and “Called in Christ to be reconciling and healing communities.”

Plenert attended as the North American representative of the Global Mission Fellowship (GMF), of which Mennonite Church Canada is a member. The GMF, officially launched at 2003 Mennonite World Conference in Zimbabwe, signaled a strong desire of organized churches on five continents to view mission as going to and coming from all places.

On short notice Plenert was asked to speak to the conference on behalf of Alix Lozano, who was denied a visa to travel from Colombia. Lozano is director of the Mennonite Seminary in Bogotá. Plenert’s May 12 presentation, part of a larger plenary session, can be viewed at: [Warning Large File - 6,000KB Help with WMV files]. All the plenary sessions can be viewed via webcast at

Other Mennonites attending the WCC event were Hans Ulrich Gerber (Switzerland), leader of the WCC initiative Decade to Overcome Violence, and Omar Cortes-Gaibur, Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker in Chile. For more information about the WCC event, visit