October 22, 2015
by Aldine Musser
Co-pastor of Stephens City Mennonite Church, Stephens City, Va.

Mennonite World Conference connects father and son

Alberto Othuon, a third generational Mennonite from Tanzania, currently worships at Stephens City Mennonite Church. The 16th Global Assembly of Anabaptists brought his father to Harrisburg, Pa., from Tanzania for international worship and fellowship with 7,500 Mennonites from 65 countries.

His father, Bishop John Nyagwegwe, has been walking with God (the Mennonite World Conference theme) for a long time. He serves in the town of Shirati, Rorya District of the North Mara region. He operates in 28 villages, in seven wards.

Lancaster County missionaries started the Mennonite Church in East Africa in Shirati in 1934. The church is more than 80 years old now and has more than 19,350 members. They currently have partnerships with Eastern Mennonite Missions, Mennonite Central Committee and MEDA, the Mennonite Economic Development Agency. Bishop John recognized that we do more together than any of us can do alone.

Bishop John Nyagwegwe preached using the text of John 17 at Stephens City Mennonite Church, where 25% of the congregation attended MWC and one member, Melody Musser, is currently living in
Burundi. She led a workshop.

Nyagwegwe titled his sermon “Unity and Love,” emphasizing the unity that was visible through the love for our global sisters and brothers at MWC. The church’s unity is important to its mission. He said he wants and needs to be in relationship with Christians from other countries.

MWC was an experience where we felt “all are one” in Christ. We are part of the body of Jesus together. The “Fresh Eating” class prepared a lunch from the vegetables in the Musser garden for all to enjoy after the worship service.


James and Aldine Musser with Bishop John Nyagwegwe and his son, Alberto Othuon. Courtesy of author
James and Aldine Musser with Bishop John Nyagwegwe and his son, Alberto Othuon. Courtesy of author

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