Many young adult delegates attend Assembly

July 25, 2012 | Feature | Number 15
Story and photo by Rachel Bergen | Young Voices Co-Editor
Kristina Toews at a young adults event at Assembly.

Many people remark that it’s difficult to get young adults interested and involved in church. But that wasn’t the case for the 44 registered young adults at the 2012 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly.

Kristina Toews, a youth leader from Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church in Abbotsford and a delegate, is very involved in the local, national, and global church.

“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.” She has attended the annual Mennonite Church Canada Assembly for the past five years.

“I love meeting people at other conferences and events. It’s so much fun to see people again. I’m so encouraged by the other people here. It’s life giving,” Toews said.

Susie Guenther Loewen from Toronto United Mennonite Church was asked to come to Assembly to assess the situation regarding the Being a Faithful Church process and to share the work she has done on a paper called, “Unwelcoming the Stranger: Marriage from a Canadian Mennonite Perspective,” with people she came across.

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 and he found it an interesting experience as he knew nothing about what these gatherings were about. “It’s really cool to see all the churches together,” Penner said.

Because the area churches and individual congregations are involved in different projects, it’s a great experience to see what’s happening throughout the community and provinces, Toews said. She believes it is 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!

In the past two years, fewer than 20 young adults registered to attend. Their numbers more than doubled this year.

Kristina Toews at a young adults event at Assembly.

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Just a correction - my paper is called "Welcoming the Stranger: Same-Sex Marriage from a Canadian Mennonite Perspective." Its guiding concept is the biblical call to welcome and show hospitality to strangers.

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