​Melody Pannell of Eastern Mennonite University was among the first-time attendees who contributed during the 2016 Hope for the Future conference. Photo by Carol Roth.

Monday, January 29, 2018

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Mission Network/Mennonite Church USA/Mennonite Education Agency) –The annual Hope for the Future (HFF) gathering will take place Feb. 8-11 in San Antonio, Texas, with the theme "The people are marching! Where are the saints?"

HFF gatherings bring together leaders of color from across the church, sometimes with White allies, to explore the ways that power, privilege and racism function in our denomination. This will be the seventh HFF gathering for networking, support, conversation, and generating change.

This year's theme is inspired by the title of Vincent Harding's address to Mennonite World Conference in 1967, "The beggars are marching … Where are the saints?", where Harding questions if the church is on the side of the oppressor or the oppressed.

"This has been a rough two years, especially for people of color," said Iris de León-Hartshorn, director of Transformative Peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA. "People are exhausted, frustrated, and in need of finding hope."

Participants will explore the theme in three distinct movements during the gathering. The first movement will focus on the places where people of color are already active and marching. The second movement will address how the church can arise and act in ways that support the oppressed. The final movement will provide a "word for the journey" for people of color to hear while marching on.

Speakers on these topics will include Glen Guyton from Mennonite Church USA, Sue Park Hur from Mountain View Mennonite Church and ReconciliAsian, Juan F. Martínez from Fuller Theological Seminary, and Chantelle Todman Moore from Unlock Ngenuity. Music will be led by Nohemy Rut García Soria.

The first worship and fellowship time will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, at Hyatt Regency Riverwalk Hotel.

Everence, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Mennonite Church USA Executive Board, Mennonite Education Agency, and Mennonite Mission Network sponsor Hope for the Future.








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