AKRON, Pa. – The 90th anniversary of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) will be marked by an academic conference examining Mennonite identity and MCC, and how the two have shaped each other.
The conference is called “A Table of Sharing: Mennonite Central Committee and the Expanding Networks of Mennonite Identity” and is scheduled for June 13 and 14 at MCC's Welcoming Place in Akron.
MCC was born in 1920. Leaders from various Mennonite relief committees, as well as some denominational leaders representing churches in Canada and the United States, met several times that year to consider how to address the suffering of Mennonites in Russia. At one meeting, the name “Mennonite Central Committee” was adopted, representing the coming together of distinct Mennonite groups to coordinate relief efforts.
“A Table of Sharing” will look at MCC's past and present and consider the future as participants examine the conference theme through multiple lenses. It will include presentations of papers by scholars and church leaders. Most will be published by Cascadia Publishing House in late 2010 or early 2011 in a book of the same name.
The opening session of the conference on June 13 will investigate MCC as a means for inter-Mennonite collaboration, said Alain Epp Weaver, chair of the planning committee, and director of MCC's Program Development Department.
The second session will look at how MCC has helped to shape and has been shaped by Mennonite and other Anabaptist communities in Canada and the United States. At an evening panel MCC partners and workers from Ethiopia, Lebanon, Haiti and India will share their reflections on MCC’s ministry.
On the conference’s second day, June 14, participants will consider MCC's role as “a key player in and a catalyst for the creation and establishment of numerous other inter-Mennonite institutions and ventures which have helped to shape Mennonite identity,” according to Epp Weaver. Speakers will also examine MCC’s relationship to the broader world of humanitarian nongovernmental organizations.
The conference is free and open to the public, but interested persons are asked to register to help with planning.
The first session begins at 1 p.m. on June 13, and the conference continues until 9 p.m. on June 14. To view a full conference program and to register for meals at the MCC Dining Hall ($5 for breakfast; $7 for lunch; and $7 for dinner), visit the website.
For information about lodging during the conference, contact the MCC Hosting Department at 717-859-1151 or 1-888-563-4676, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Space at MCC facilities is limited.