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44 Young adults attend Assembly 2012


July 17, 2012
-Rachel Bergen

Vancouver, B.C. — Many people remark that it’s difficult to get young adults interested and involved in church. But this isn’t the case for the 44 young adults who attended the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2012.

Kristina Toews, a youth leader from Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, BC and a delegate is very involved in the local, national and global church. She believes it’s important for young adults to get involved.

“I think it’s really important that we’re a part of a national assembly. It reminds people that we’re a part of a larger congregation. I’m involved in Mennonite World Conference; I see a lot of importance in being a part of the global community, as well.”

“It’s important to be a part of the local church, the national, and the world church. They’re all integral parts of the church,” she said. She has attended the annual Mennonite Church Canada Assembly for the past five years. “I love meeting people at other conferences and events and it’s so much fun to see people again. I’m so encouraged by the other people here. It’s life giving.”

Susie Guenther-Loewen from Toronto United Mennonite Church was asked to come to Assembly to assess the situation regarding the Being a Faithful Church and share the work she has done on a paper called, Unwelcoming the Stranger: Marriage from a Canadian Mennonite perspective with others at assembly..

Blake Penner, a 21 year old delegate from Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg was sought out by his congregation to participate in Assembly this year. It was his first experience and he said that he found it interesting; before coming, he knew nothing about the national gatherings.

Because the area churches and individual congregations are doing different things, it’s a great experience to see what’s happening in the wider church community, Toews said. “It’s really important to see how church can be different. You hear stories about what other churches are doing. It opens your eyes to see that the Mennonite family isn’t all like Abbotsford, for example.”

“It’s cool to see all the churches together,” Penner said.

Toews believes it is so important for young people to get involved with the church locally, nationally, and globally. And not just 10 or 20 years from now, right now!

“We should step up because we are the church right now,” she said. “I love meeting people who are actually involved instead of just reading about it.”

In the past two years, fewer than 20 young adults had registered to attend. This year, the number more than doubled.

See complete coverage of Assembly 2012