Worship, Fellowship at Summer Fest

Posted on: July 5, 2024

Delegates gather for Summer Fest 2024 to see the new things God is spouting before us.

The community of congregations that make up Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference (IMMC) came together once again for our annual gathering, but this time it took on a new name: Summer Fest. This name change recognizes the shift in focus that has already been taking place at IMMC gatherings. Conference leaders and staff listened to what attenders found most meaningful aspects of our gatherings, worshipping together and fellowship being at the top of that list, and decided to make a shift that celebrates and focuses our attention on what really matters to us.

There is no way to replicate the experience of being at Summer Fest with text and photos, but there are some things that we cannot go without sharing. First and foremost, we are grateful for our hosts, the Mara Christian Church of America, Indiana, for not only giving us a place to gather but for their warm hospitality throughout our time there. They taught us more about their culture (pictured above: Eric Lian, a congregational leader), they allowed us to take over almost every inch of their building, and they provided a meal of food from their culture. We were blessed by this opportunity to join with these wonderful siblings-in-Christ while we gathered for Summer Fest.

In each worship service, we heard stories of what God is doing in the congregations in and around Indianapolis. The Ministry Credentialing Team (MCT) led the worship service on Saturday morning, making space for lament, confession, and gratitude around credentialing practices from the past that have caused harm to individuals and communities in IMMC. This was a sacred space where we felt the Holy Spirit move in us to bring healing, hope, and grace.

The afternoon on Saturday included opportunities to experience two ways of worshiping and encountering God through Wild Church or through Visio Divina. Following these, attenders enjoyed Fun Fest activities, including a hymn sing, artistic expressions, yard games, and (of course) fun snacks.

The final worship service included communion, bringing together the familiar and the celebration of the new ways God is moving in and around the conference. While our time

together was short, it was a meaningful opportunity to connect with folks from all around the conference.

The photos here give just a taste of what it was like to be at Summer Fest 2024. If you could not make it, do not fret! We will gather again next summer at Waterford Mennonite Church on June 13-14, 2025. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship there!