1990 ArticleAssociação das Igrejas Menonitas do Brasil (AIMB, Association of the Mennonite Churches [GCM] of Brazil). In 1987 the AIMB consists of congregations in Curitiba (Boqueirao and Villa Guaira) and the Free Evangelical Mennonite Church (GCM) of Witmarsum. The conference consisted in 1987 of 800 members, 18 ministers, 11 deacons, 46 Sunday school teachers, and 6 choirs. In 2003 there were 772 members in six congregations. The conference was founded in 1952 with Curitiba as its administrative center. It is a member of the Conference of Mennonites in South America and of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM) in North America. The stated purpose of AIMB is to nurture the faith and facilitate programs in mission, youth work, ministerial exchange, and Sunday school work and to publish Bibel und Pflug (1,000 subscriptions). Missionary activity was begun in the 1950s, leading to congregations in the Vila Lindoia and Xaxím suburbs of Curitiba, as well as in the city of Palmeira near Witmarsum. In the 1960s close cooperation began with missionaries of the Mennonite Board of Missions (MC) from North America, which had been working in the states of São Paulo and Goiás since 1954. A united agency, the Associação Evangélica Menonita (AEM, Mennonite Evangelical Association) was created to facilitate this cooperation. In 1987 six AIMB missionaries are serving in AEM. The congregation in Boqueirão includes numerous couples not of ethnic Mennonite background. The congregation in Vila Guaira is likewise actively involved in working with people in the community. An autonomous Portuguese-speaking congregation has arisen in Witmarsum, consisting primarily of employees of the settlement.
Additional work is carried on in prison ministries, marriage enrichment seminars, retreats, and a radio program on station HCJB, Quito, Ecuador. A joint committee with the Associação das Igrejas Irmãos Menonitas do Brasil (AIIMB, Mennonite Brethren) has been established to facilitate cooperation.
The congregations in Vila Guaira and Boqueirao are founders and strong supporters of the Mennonite Colégio Erasto Gartner school in Curitiba. This school has promoted biblical and Mennonite values in faith and ethics and encouraged an openness to new contemporary issues in society and faith.
Next to the work with AEM the largest undertaking of AIMB is the social welfare work carried on by the Associação Menonita de Assistência Social (AMAS, Mennonite Relief Organization in Brazil). AMAS was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit welfare agency. It works closely such international agencies as Mennonite Central Committee and the International Mennonite Organization (IMO)), and receives funding from the West German government for children's aid. AMAS work is not only supported by the congregations, but also by their auxiliaries, especially the women's organizations and Mennonite business enterprises. Some of its work is also carried on with AEM and the AIIMB (Mennonite Brethren) congregations.
The largest project of AMAS is the day-care center in Palmeira, where more than 200 children under the age of 14 years are cared for, and a vocational training center, which has an enrollment of ca. 200, has been established. Two congregations have arisen as a result of this work. A large, beautiful building has been erected, which is also used for retreats, seminars, and mission conferences.
Since 1978 AMAS has been responsible for the Araguacema mission project in the Amazon region's Goiás State. It includes a school for grades 1-8, with 350 pupils in 1987, a clinic, and a second school "Cidade Leer" (named after support it receives from benefactors in Leer, West Germany), with an enrollment of 150 pupils. Technical and financial help from AMAS and IMO) has made the establishing of a cooperative possible. This in turn has aided agricultural production and income enormously.
AMAS facilitates children's retreat centers, schools, health and development programs, and catastrophe help wherever it may be needed. The agency also coordinated exchange programs for trainees and others from Europe and North America, and is legally responsible for the development projects in Recife/Pernambuco and Paraíba. AMAS also assumes responsibility for securing visas for voluntary service workers, and was involved in discussions which led to an alternative service program in lieu of military service (1988). A board of 15 members, chosen from the AIMB congregations, is responsible for the AMAS work.
2012 UpdateIn 2012 the following congregations were members of Associação das Igrejas Menonitas do Brasil:
|Comunidade Evangélica Menonita da Paz||Balneário Piçarras, Santa Catarina|
|Igreja Evangélica Menonita Água Verde||Curitiba, Paraná|
|Igreja Evangélica Menonita de Curitiba||Curitiba, Paraná|
|Igreja Evangélica Menonita Jardim Carmen||São José dos Pinhais, Paraná|
|Igreja Evangélica Menonita de Witmarsum||Palmeira, Paraná|
|Igreja Menonita de Imbituva||Imbituva, Paraná|
|Segunda Igreja Evangélica Menonita de Witmarsum||Palmeira, Paraná|
Kraybill, Paul N., ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 201-203.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 61.
Conference Website: Associação das Igrejas Menonitas do Brasil
|Date Published||October 2012|
Cite This Article
Ens, Henrique. "Associação das Igrejas Menonitas do Brasil." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2012. Web. 28 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Associa%C3%A7%C3%A3o_das_Igrejas_Menonitas_do_Brasil&oldid=54058.
Ens, Henrique. (October 2012). Associação das Igrejas Menonitas do Brasil. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Associa%C3%A7%C3%A3o_das_Igrejas_Menonitas_do_Brasil&oldid=54058.
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