MWC elects U.S. pastor as next president
Council gives Indonesia conditional approval to host world assembly in 2021By Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
The amounts are based on church membership and each country’s per capita gross national product. For example, Mennonite Church USA is one of the larger churches with 103,245 members, and the U.S. has the highest per capita GNP with $41,557. Based on MWC’s 2013-15 needs of $2.98 million, MC USA’s fair share is 33.75 percent, or $1.008 million. Mennonite Church Canada’s fair share is 8.67 percent.
The U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches’ share is 11.6 percent, and the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches’ share is 9.13 percent. Those and other North American members’ shares total 78.67 percent of MWC’s requested income.
Most other fair-share percentages are at or far below 1 percent. MWC tends to receive less than half of the fair-share amounts it requests.
Many delegates expressed deep reservations about meeting the expectation. The proposed amounts were only approved with the inclusion of the possibility for negotiations about individual member’s obligations.
“We recognize that the formula used is not a perfect formula,” said MWC chief operating officer Len Rempel of Canada. “Using one number for a whole country — we recognize that is not the most accurate approach.”
MWC vice president Janet Plenert of Canada agreed conditions can vary from region to region in a country and hoped some members recognized an ability to negotiate a higher contribution. She also noted widespread desire for a new formula system.
“We will record carefully that we have heard a significant call for that,” she said.
Assembly 17 Indonesia
Departing from traditional procedure, General Council delegates conditionally accepted an invitation from the Asian caucus to host Assembly 17 in Indonesia in 2021. The Indonesian churches asked nine years early — instead of six — to help with their preparations.
An official decision is contingent upon a feasibility study looking at travel, facilities and infrastructure.
“Only if there are significant problems would we go back and change that,” Plenert said.
Delegates also affirmed the executive committee’s decision to confer the title of general secretary emeritus on Larry Miller, who served as general secretary from 1990 until the end of 2011.
The General Council meets every three years. The Basil meetings drew 207 participants from 48 countries.
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