Wider View Archive

The power of presence

August 17, 2017 Third Way

The power of presence Krista Dutt, Program Coordinator for Chicago and Church Relations Associate, Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes I have often heard the life of Job upheld as an example. However, my experience as an immigration court watcher has allowed me to enter into the perspective of Job’s friends. These friends heard that Job’s life was in a hard place and so they went to sit with him (Job 2:11-13). Scripture says they didn’t speak, waiting until Job broke seven days of silence, but the power of their presence during that time is clear. Sometimes the most we can […]

Strangers in their own land

August 10, 2017 Third Way

Strangers in their own land By Daniel Friesen Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, instability has been the governing force in the lives of many Syrians. While local and international powers have compounded the civil war with their own interests and sectarian conflicts have sprung up around the fray, Syria’s people continue to be threatened by mortar attacks, missile strikes, chemical weapons, and violence from the so-called Islamic State. Media coverage often centers on U.S. coalition forces and defeating terrorism, but we must not forget the ever-increasing humanitarian crisis. Syrian civilians in great number have been caught […]

God as advocate

July 28, 2017 Esther Epp-Tiessen

God as advocate by Esther Epp-Tiessen @ MCC Ottawa Office Our MCC Ottawa Office has been engaged in advocacy since it was founded in 1975, but we still occasionally are asked why we are involved in speaking to government as a church-based relief, development and peacebuilding agency.  After all, the question often goes, doesn’t scripture admonish us to simply feed the hungry, clothe the naked or give water to those who thirst? We as staff have developed a response to this question.  We have many reasons for justifying the work we are mandated to do, not the least of which […]

“Beloved, let us love one another”

July 21, 2017 Thirdway

“Beloved, let us love one another” Julian Brubaker, Domestic policy intern, MCC Washington Office In a small room on June 27 at the National Press Club building in Washington, D.C., stood parents who were forced to bury a child. In each case, the perpetrator was an undocumented immigrant. These parents were gathered to launch a new organization, Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC). During his campaign, now-President Trump highlighted their stories to imply that all immigrants are a threat to public safety, arguing for more restrictive immigration laws and increased deportations. Rather than finding effective solutions to reduce […]

Two stones, two justice systems

July 7, 2017 Thirdway

Two stones, two justice systems By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach One morning this past January a 14-year-old Palestinian boy left his school after finishing his exam. Some boys were throwing stones at an Israeli military jeep. He continued on, but was followed by Israeli soldiers who shot him with a rubber bullet, then tied his wrists and blindfolded him. He was interrogated for hours and accused of throwing stones. He was finally released after seven days in detention and a $275 fine. A few months later, a group of Israeli settler youth threw stones at Israeli soldiers in the same area. […]

Canada 150 – Anabaptism and sovereignty

June 23, 2017 Third Way

By Kerry Saner-Harvey, Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba Program Coordinator – Indigenous Neighbours. This is the first in a series of reflections on Canada 150. For many it’s a time for celebration. Others lean towards lament.  Either way, perhaps “Canada 150” can be for us an invitation to “re-imagine” our nation going forward in the next 150 years. In the modern era, nation states are framed on certain assumptions.  One of these is that governance and authority stem from a centralized national structure which we identify as “Canada.” Even if there are various sub-levels of autonomy, we understand them as liberties “granted” by the state.  We […]

The pursuit of lasting peace in Colombia

June 16, 2017 Charissa Zehr

The pursuit of lasting peace in Colombia By Charissa Zehr At this time last year Colombians were invigorated with hope for a lasting peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). There was palpable optimism about concluding negotiations, and people finally allowed themselves to believe change was on the horizon. A lot of things have changed in a year. First, there was the signing ceremony fanfare in June. Then the popular referendum on the peace accords was voted down by a narrow margin, revealing polarization across Colombia and leaving much uncertainty about the process. After […]

Doing more than just assisting

June 2, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

Doing more than just assisting By Charles Kwuelum Martina Talatu Garba was looking forward to becoming a mother, in a culture that highly values having children. Unfortunately, her hopes were dashed when she died at childbirth due to complications from malaria and a lack of adequate medical care. Since Refawa, her hometown in Nigeria, lacks a primary healthcare facility and is 15 miles away from the nearest public hospital, many women, newborn babies and children do not have access to skilled care and life-saving medicines. About 303,000 women worldwide die annually during childbirth, as a result of health conditions that […]

Riding the bus as spiritual discipline

May 25, 2017 Esther Epp-Tiessen

Riding the bus as spiritual discipline by Esther Epp-Tiessen I have always struggled with the traditional spiritual disciplines – contemplative prayer, disciplined scripture reading, meditation, fasting. I have tried them all many times, and fallen away every time. I have often felt like a failure. But I’ve come to realize that there are many more spiritual disciplines than the traditional ones. And for me, personally, what has become an important way of encountering the Spirit is through the very mundane act of riding the bus to work. Initially, my commitment to riding the bus was about reducing my carbon footprint. […]

Advocating together

May 19, 2017 Cherelle M. Dessus

Advocating together Cherelle M. Dessus “Black, White, Spanish. Doesn’t matter who you are, you’ll feel like you’re part of a family,” a church member said. Lee Heights is located in an urban area and the church aims to serve their community. Many times, they walk through the neighborhood to talk and pray with people. Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) helps the congregation connect these local concerns with federal policies. EAD is a national gathering held annually in Washington, D.C. The conference is organized by Christian organizations working in Washington, including the Mennonite Central Committee’s U.S. Washington Office. This year’s conference focused […]