Wider View Archive

Light, peace and hope shining in the darkness

December 23, 2016 Rebekah Sears

by Rebekah Sears, policy analyst for MCC’s Ottawa Office We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. –Henri Nouwen It’s almost time – Christmas time! Our period of Advent waiting, is nearly finished for another year. It is a time when many churches and families are lighting candles in anticipation. It is a season where we celebrate light coming into the darkness. Our hope is arriving – in many ways it is already here! When I was working for MCC in Bogota, Colombia, I experienced the Advent season as being all about lights—as filled with light. I […]

O little town of Amona

December 16, 2016 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

O little town of Amona By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach At this time of year the hearts and minds of many Christians turn toward the “little town” of Bethlehem. Bethlehem still exists today as a Palestinian city in the West Bank, under Israeli military occupation. But recently the little “town” of Amona has been getting more attention. Amona is an “outpost,” housing about 40 families near the Israeli settlement of Ofra in the West Bank. Amona was started in 1995, with settlers placing three caravans on land taken from private Palestinian landowners. After 20 years of legal wrangling, the outpost still […]

What’s next on climate change?

December 9, 2016 Tammy Alexander

Tammy Alexander, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office After the recent U.S. presidential election, many advocates working to address climate change are wondering what the next year will bring. Last year, the Obama administration signed the historic Paris Agreement committing the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to provide funding to help vulnerable communities around the world mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. In contrast, during his campaign, president-elect Donald Trump questioned whether climate change is real, promised to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement and pledged to expand U.S. oil, coal, and natural […]

Edna Hunsberger’s witness against war

November 25, 2016 Thirdway

by Esther Epp-Tiessen, public engagement coordinator for MCC’s Ottawa Office Edna Hunsperger was a trailblazer. Most young women like her, growing up in the 1930s in a rurual (Old) Mennonite Ontario community, anticipated early marriage, child-bearing and a life working on the family farm. But Edna wanted an education and she wanted to serve others. She persuaded her parents to allow her to enter nurses training in Kitchener-Waterloo.  She graduated as a nurse in 1937, the first Mennonite from her community to do so. Two years later Canada was at war and in a short time there was a call […]

I was a stranger and you invited me in

November 18, 2016 Thirdway

By Zoe Parakuo More than three million refugees have been resettled in the United States in the past 40 years, giving victims of persecution and conflict a chance to build a new life here. Most U.S. citizens are descendants of immigrants and refugees and should not be afraid to open the door for others to enjoy the same freedom and opportunities. Only by putting aside racial stereotypes and attitudes towards immigrants can we fulfill God’s command to welcome the stranger (Leviticus 19:34). As Christians, Jesus called us to live according to Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave […]

Where have all the voters gone?

November 4, 2016 Joshua Russell

By Joshua Russell When the U.S. holds their 2016 election next week, many people will be unable to vote. Unlike most countries, many felons in the United States are stripped of their right to vote. An estimated 6.1 million people are currently banned from voting due to their criminal history–people who otherwise would be allowed to express their voice and participate in the political process. While the sheer number of people who are not allowed to vote is astonishing, even more disconcerting is who these people are. Disenfranchised voters are not spread evenly across the United States. Many states do […]

Muskrat Falls: An opportunity for respect and reconciliation

October 28, 2016 Thirdway

By Dianne and Marty Climenhage June 27, 2016 was an historic day in Labrador. It marked the first time that all three Indigenous groups–Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government representing Northern Inuit and NunatuKavut Government representing Southern Inuit–stood together publicly and asked for a halt to Nalcor Corporation’s Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project (Muskrat Falls). It has been our privilege, as MCC workers in Labrador, to stand with Indigenous partners in their call for respect for their land and their lives. Since 2011, “land protectors” have been warning the public about the potential risks of moving forward with a project of this magnitude. In 2013, the project […]

Haiti in Hope of Recovery

October 21, 2016 Third Way

By Shalonda Spencer It has been six years since the disastrous January 2010 earthquake in Haiti which killed over 200,000 Haitians; it was also the year of the tragic outbreak of cholera that has now infected more than 785,000 people. Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness and there are an estimated 3-5 million cases around the world each year. The bacterium contaminates water and food and is most likely to occur in places with inadequate water and sanitation systems. During the month of October, Mennonite Central Committee’s Washington Office, along with other organizations, launched a cholera campaign via Twitter to […]

Empowering girls in South Sudan

October 7, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum  Could you imagine a world where all children have the same rights and opportunities? A world where school-age children, boys and girls, receive adequate education? According to the United Nations, about 57 million children do not attend school globally, with half from sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of opportunity and infrastructure in education is a hurdle to human health, growth and sustainable development. Access to education at all levels, particularly for women and girls, is an indispensable antidote to poverty. In South Sudan, UNICEF estimates that more than 50 percent of children between the ages of 6 and […]

A prayer for members of Parliament

September 30, 2016 Third Way

By Monica Scheifele At the end of August, staff from Mennonite Central Committee’s advocacy offices in Ottawa, Washington and at the UN gathered in New York for our annual face-to-face meeting.  We began our time together with a devotional on Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well and their conversation about “living water.” We were reminded that, as a Samaritan, the woman represented “the other” for Jews like Jesus – and yet Jesus reached out to her, honouring her dignity and her agency. Two weeks later, Canada’s members of Parliament returned to Ottawa to resume the first session of the […]