In early February, over 20 people gathered from 10 different countries at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) to learn how they might contribute to the global expansion of the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO). The presence of Anabaptist students from around the world at AMBS became the impetus for the ISGA, in partnership with the AMBS library, to organize the first GAMEO Instructional and Writing Workshop. Bringing unique insights from their own contexts along with their ongoing research and study, AMBS students hold a wealth of knowledge about the global Anabaptist church that GAMEO seeks to make accessible.
On a wintery Tuesday evening, John D. Roth, director of the ISGA, presented the vision of GAMEO as a reliable and wide-ranging resource for Anabaptist-related topics, outlining GAMEO’s intention to broaden its material on the global church.
Director of Library Services at AMBS, Karl Stutzman, outlined the resources available at the library for developing articles for GAMEO, including the Writer Center which provides a range of services, from input on content and structure to assistance with grammar and editing. Stutzman has also made several stipends available for submitted articles that are approved by the GAMEO editorial committee. “We want to offer incentives for AMBS students – particularly those who come from around the globe or have international experience – to help put the “global” into GAMEO,” Stutzman said.
Associate Professor of Anabaptist Studies, Jamie Pitts, also provided the opportunity for a GAMEO article to be a part of the final project in his Global Anabaptism class, encouraging his students to see GAMEO as an opportunity to share their research with the wider church. Jason Kauffman, Director of Archives for Mennonite Church USA and current GAMEO board member, was also present and expressed GAMEO’s eagerness to work with students in GAMEO’s expansion.
Primarily focused on writing biographies and congregational histories, the workshop explained the basic structure for a GAMEO article and explored the points of intersection between students’ research and insights with the areas GAMEO is hoping to expand. Visiting scholars Augustina Altman and Alejandro López expressed appreciation for GAMEO in their research and emphasized the importance of this project in opening up new avenues of exploration and study. Going forward, the ISGA and AMBS library hope to build on this energy to increase the participation and representation of the global church in GAMEO.