Wider View Archive

The forgotten parts of the Syria crisis

September 16, 2016 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

The forgotten parts of the Syria crisis By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach On the International Day of Peace, September 21, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., along with other organizations, is sponsoring a “Global Day of Action and Prayer for Syria.” In addition to events that day in New York City, local congregations are encouraged to use the materials to pray and act for peace. As we have worked at planning this event, we have sought to keep the focus on calling for an end to the war in Syria—calling on all parties to cease the violence and urging a negotiated solution. Many, […]

Make your voice heard this election season

September 2, 2016 Joshua Russell

As Election Day approaches in the U.S., many people have expressed dissatisfaction with all of the candidates on the ballot. While this sentiment is mostly centered on the presidential race here, it can also be found regarding candidates for state and local offices. Some may ask if there is any point in voting. Why should we engage with public officials who we feel do not represent us well? In the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:2 reminds us to pray for our leaders, and many of us do. However, we have the ability to do more than pray for the men and […]

A prayer for hope

August 26, 2016 Third Way

This prayer service was prepared by Joanna Hiebert Bergen, peacebuilding and advocacy coordinator for MCC Manitoba. This is one of a series of prayer services for peace prepared for each week of August. Introduction: Faith and hope abide alongside love as a triad, those elements of our spiritual journey that allow for perseverance. We acknowledge a God who lived with us in the person of Jesus, exemplifying all three of these elements. God continues to show up in our world in visible and invisible ways, manifest through encounters with the natural world and with one another, pointing us to faith, […]

Inspiration to Act: Immigration Advocacy

August 12, 2016 Thirdway

Alek D. Ball, Domestic policy intern Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office   Convincing college students that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary for the future of the United States is not an easy task. Many students at Georgetown University where I attend are from Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Students in certain parts of these states would likely never come into contact with someone who was affected by U.S. immigration policies unless they already had a reason to work on this issue. However, students at universities throughout our country have the opportunity to enhance their own perspectives and the […]

Love in the Time of Sanctions

August 1, 2016 Thirdway

By Jacob Greaser The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) is probably one of the most mysterious and least visited places in the world for North Americans. Even for many U.S. policymakers, DPRK is often seen through a political cloud of fear and presented as an unknowable and unpredictable enemy. For the U.S. government, the label of “enemy” usually leads to punitive measures such as sanctions, but as Christians, the label of “enemy” should mean something quite different. Jesus’ teaching to “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) may seem to be a meaningless phrase in the midst of political complexity, […]

One law for all

July 22, 2016 Tammy Alexander

By Tammy Alexander Recently the U.S. Senate considered two bills related to immigration enforcement. Both bills were introduced in response to the death of Kate Steinle who was shot while walking on a pier in San Francisco last year. Reports indicate the man who shot Steinle, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was not aiming at her but was firing recklessly and the bullet ricocheted. Lopez-Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant. The controversy that followed centered around whether local police should have held Lopez-Sanchez for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials after he finished serving a prison sentence earlier that year. More than 300 local […]

Walking the talk on women, peace and security

July 15, 2016 Thirdway

By Jennifer Wiebe, Director of MCC’s Ottawa Office. I’m sure you’ve heard by now. Canada has a self-professed feminist prime minister. Right out of the post-election gate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a gender-balanced Cabinet (“Because it’s 2015,” he explained. End of story.). Then there is his snapchat video on how men can be better feminists, his statements on gender parity at the World Economic Forum, his comments pushing for gender equality while in New York at the Commission on the Status of Women, and the list goes on… The prime minister is promoting himself globally as a defender and promoter of women’s rights. And there is […]

Praying by the Prison, Part 2

July 1, 2016 Thirdway

by Randy Klassen Does our place make a difference to our praying? That’s the question that came to me one morning last fall, as I realized my morning prayer walk took me right across the river from Saskatoon’s federal prison, the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC). How do my prayers take my location, my community, into account? Christians are often taught a posture of prayer with eyes closed—but if that also teaches us to shut our minds to the realities of life in our neighbourhood or our nation, our praying will be not only blind, but lame. I see things differently now. […]

No Way to Treat a Child

By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach In the documentary “Detaining Dreams,” Abed, a 15-year-old Palestinian, tells how he was arrested by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint in his home while sleeping and then was taken away, handcuffed and blindfolded. While in detention he was beaten, interrogated and placed in solitary confinement before eventually being released on bail. Abed’s story is not unique. At the end of April (the most recent numbers available), more than 400 Palestinian youth were being detained by the Israeli military. A recent report showed that three-quarters of children who are detained experience physical violence after their arrest. Two separate […]

Rejected and stigmatized, but saved by your love

June 10, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

    By Charles Kwuelum In March, I met with Hannatu Anthony* one of the beneficiaries of free medications, treatments and socio-economic empowerment programs made possible by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) support for the Faith Alive Clinic in Jos, Nigeria. Hannatu Anthony was pregnant and receiving free prenatal services and medical care at the Faith Alive Clinic. The clinic offers free health care services (prevention, treatment and control) to people with HIV and AIDS, making health care accessible to the most vulnerable, especially youth, infants, pregnant women and mothers. More than 250 patients are diagnosed daily by the doctors and […]