Mennonite Church Canada International Witness supports new Anabaptist resourcing network through Mennonite Partners in China

Director of MPC to become Anabaptist Education Coordinator

Mennonite Partners in China, a joint program of Mennonite Church Canada International Witness and Mennonite Mission Network (Mennonite Church USA), is creating an Anabaptist resourcing network to assist Chinese church leaders who want to know more about Anabaptism.

For the past forty years Mennonite Partners in China (MPC) has been the main pathway for Mennonites to engage with Chinese church and education communities. MPC has facilitated educational exchanges for more than 300 North American teachers and 400 Chinese university professors since 1981. In a time of growing tension between Chinese and Canadian and U.S. governments, MPC has provided valuable opportunities for learning and for building peace between different cultures and viewpoints. Now, with the advent of COVID-19, MPC is adapting to focus on resourcing Chinese faith communities.

Together with Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Church Canada International Witness consulted with Chinese church leaders who have partnered with MPC in the past. These leaders have asked for help establishing a resource network to assist with the translation of Anabaptist materials and the development of new teaching materials for the China context. A proposal to meet this need was approved by Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council on September 26, 2020.

Several Asian partners of International Witness and MMN are also asking for Anabaptist resources. One Chinese, lay church leader said, “Learning about Anabaptist teaching was like learning about my faith roots when I didn’t even know they existed.”

To facilitate this resourcing, International Witness and MMN have expanded the mandate of MPC director Myrrl Byler. He will now also serve as Anabaptist Education Coordinator, connecting and resourcing church leaders in various parts of Asia, including China. Myrrl and Ruthie Byler will relocate to Asia in 2021 to begin learning from and walking with Asian church leaders who seek Anabaptist training. They will also continue to strengthen ties and promote exchange opportunities between Chinese and North American educators when these can happen safely again.

During this tense time, Mennonites have a unique opportunity to build on forty years of connections through MPC to grow together with Chinese congregations who seek to know more about Anabaptism. Please contact your regional church for information on how to participate in the work of International Witness in China and to donate to International Witness ministries.

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Media contact:

Jeanette Hanson

Director of International Witness

Mennonite Church Canada