More than 4,500 Mennonites of all ages will attend Phoenix 2013, the biennial convention of Mennonite Church USA, to be held July 1–6 in the Phoenix Convention Center. The convention’s theme, “Citizens of God’s Kingdom: Healed in Hope” (“Ciudadanos del Reino de Dios: Sanados por la Esperanza”), is inspired by Psalm 24:1, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 5:1-5 and Ephesians 2:14-22. The theme points toward an allegiance to God that goes beyond national borders and racial divides. The last convention was held in July 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The total number of convention participants represents approximately 1,600 adults, 2,750 youth and youth sponsors, 80 junior youth and sponsors, and 100 children.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Anabaptist denomination in North America, with more than 100,000 adult members in about 900 congregations in 44 states. The denomination has national offices in Newton, Kan.; Elkhart, Ind.; and Harrisonburg, Va.
Arizona is home to seven congregations that are part of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, one of 21 regional conferences of Mennonite Church USA. Phoenix-area Mennonite congregations include Christ Life Chapel, First Mennonite Church of Phoenix, Sunnyslope Mennonite Church, Koinonia Mennonite Church (Chandler), Life House Community (Surprise) and Trinity Mennonite Church (Glendale).
The convention will include time for worship, fellowship, seminars, concerts, performances, workshops and meetings of the Mennonite Church USA Delegate Assembly, the denomination’s primary decision-making body. Delegates plan to discuss two resolutions: one focusing on creation care and environmental degradation, and one addressing child abuse and neglect and encouraging the adoption of policies and practices to protect children and youth.