HARRISONBURG, VA — Work has officially begun on the first-ever Anabaptist Bible. During August 26–28, a group of 45 “Bible ambassadors,” diverse people from various Anabaptist communities, met at the Casa Iskali retreat center in Des Plains, Illinois, to kick off the historic project. John Roth, project director of Anabaptism at 500, and Mollee Moua, managing editor, brought the representatives together for “In the Beginning Was the Word: A Working Conference on the Anabaptist Bible.”
Invitations to serve as these “Bible ambassadors” went out to a broad spectrum of Anabaptist groups. Those who responded included members of Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Church USA, the Church of the Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Evana, Lancaster Mennonite Conference, and the Bruderhof.
Roth provided a brief overview of commemorative events in Anabaptist-Mennonite history and reviewed MennoMedia’s assumptions regarding “right remembering.” Pastor and author Meghan Good gave several presentations on what it means to read Scripture from a Christ-centered perspective. Conference participants then worked in table groups to review the plan for inviting five hundred Bible study groups to participate in the project and to consider what other components might be included in the Bible. Study groups in Anabaptist faith communities will be assigned portions of scripture and asked to share their insights with the project. Volunteers can register their study groups here.
“This project is an invitation for the Anabaptist churches to gather and listen to and through the incarnate Word—Jesus,” said Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA’s director of racial/ethnic engagement, who participated in the conference. “I’m excited that the leaders of this project are committed to the challenging work of including diverse voices of Anabaptist groups.”
The Anabaptism at 500 advisory group will continue to meet via Zoom, with the next in-person meeting planned for early 2023.
Anabaptism at 500 is a project by MennoMedia, the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. To learn how you and your congregation can be involved in Anabaptism at 500, visit https://www.mennomedia.org/anabaptism-at-500/.