Global Anabaptism: an X-ray of the body
MWC, Goshen College institute to collect data, stories around the worldBy Sheldon C. Good Mennonite World Review
The original project proposal suggested randomly selecting 25 church groups to participate. After consultation with MWC, Roth is now opening up participation to any interested group and will likely coordinate the project with Mennonite mission agencies.
MWC member groups can contact Roth and express interest.
Rather than just extracting information, Roth said he hopes the profile can invite diverse groups into shared conversation.
“At its best, the profile can deepen a sense of shared identity and fuller recognition of our diversity,” he said.
Coinciding with this mostly quantitative research is the Bearing Witness Stories Project, a gathering of personal accounts of costly discipleship and suffering.
Anabaptists have a long tradition of remembering events by telling stories, evidenced in part by the book Martyrs Mirror.
This new project will collect “accounts of Christian faithfulness in the face of adversity among Anabaptist-Mennonite groups since 1685 and among groups around the world today,” Roth said.
To give further clarity on how the stories will be used and to address challenges of the project, Roth and Gerald Mast, professor of communication at Bluffton (Ohio) University, are convening a consultation. “Bearing Witness: A New Martyrs Mirror for the 21st Century?” will be held Aug. 5-8 at Goshen College.
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