Third Way Archive

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 […]

Working for peace while exiled: Jean Claude Nkundwa

June 12, 2017 Third Way

Exiled peacemaker Jean Claude Nkundwa Adapted from news releases and article by Lauren Jefferson Jean Claude Nkundwa works for peace in his native country of Burundi from exile in Rwanda. When Jean graduated with a master of arts in conflict transformation at Eastern Mennonite University in 2014, he thought finding work in peacebuilding in his native Burundi after graduation could be difficult. He, his wife Francine Muhimpundu, and young son returned to Burundi, and Nkundwa renewed former contacts from working 12 years with partner organizations affiliated with Mennonite Central Committee and also Harvest of Peace Ministries. With Burundi International Community Church, he helped mobilize […]

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 […]

When Mennonites were harassed for their beliefs

September 30, 2016 Third Way

By Burton Buller World War I proved a watershed era for Mennonites for two reasons. One, Secretary of War Newton Baker’s requirement that all conscientious objectors report to military camps where they were “encouraged” to enlist caused many Mennonites to put on the military uniform, mostly to serve as non-combatants but frequently as full military inductees. Doing so distanced these young men from the historic teachings of the church forbidding military service. Two, the Mennonite communities themselves came under attack, ramping up the rate of acculturation to unprecedented levels. From the time of their arrival in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1683, […]

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 […]

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, […]

How One Church Faced a Gun Threat

February 11, 2016 Third Way

By Chuck McKnight Pastor Larry Wright was leading a New Year’s Eve prayer service in a downtown Fayetteville, N.C., church when a man entered the building armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle. We know how these stories end. People die. Loved ones grieve. Social media becomes outraged. And then nothing changes. We wait for the story to repeat. But this time, the story went a bit differently. The man walked in with his gun in one hand and an ammo clip in the other. Pastor Wright says he was unsure whether the man had a round chambered in the rifle. […]

Pedaling for Peace

August 7, 2015 Third Way

By Rachel Bergen , Young Voices Co-editor, Canadian Mennonite “In Canada, the picture we have of refugees is people from the other side of the planet coming here where it’s safe. Often [as refugees] they’re only 43 kilometres from their original home,” Rachel Regier says, who earlier this summer helped organize the first-ever Pedal for Peace in Saskatchewan. “That distance is keeping them from the life they would live if they could just be back home.” Before they ate their fill of rollkuchen, watermelon, farmer’s sausage and other traditional Mennonite food, a group of Saskatchewan Mennonites, inspired by this vision […]

Conscientious objection in Colombia and South Korea

July 31, 2015 Third Way

By SunJu Lee Recently I had the privilege of meeting a group of women from Colombia who work with conscientious objectors in their country. The organization, Justapaz, works with the Mennonite Church of Colombia from an Anabaptist perspective, alongside other churches and social organizations. They support young men at different stages of the conscientious objection process if they are detained, imprisoned or if their cases go to court. In Colombia the duration of military service depends on the person’s educational degree and family social status, favoring the wealthy and well-educated. While the law requires two years of service, others have […]

Benedict and the Corn Thief

July 7, 2015 Third Way

Story as retold by Calvin Redekop This is a true story about a 19th century Amish-Mennonite farmer living with his family in Western Maryland. Benedict Miller had the reputation of a peacemaker. Some of his methods were both ingenious and humorous. The story of Benedict and a corn thief has been handed down seven generations in the Miller family. Benedict had a corn crib in his spring house loft with a ladder-stairway leading to it. One day he began to notice that corn was missing in his corn crib. Day after day, things grew worse, and finally Benedict decided to set […]