Third Way 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 […]

Growing peace in the Philippines—with coffee!

August 7, 2017 Third Way

Growing peace in the Philippines—with coffee! By Joji Pantoja People from Mindanao, Philippines, have been yearning for peace. Peacebuilders Community started working with people who have been in conflict for almost 30 years. Conflict disrupts any development in the country; conflict has caused the people of Mindanao to experience death, displacement, and starvation. As Peacebuilders Community slowly became involved in the dialogue, it was clear all groups shared one commonality: a love of coffee. So coffee became the vehicle for the peace message Peacebulders wanted to promote. “Coffee for Peace” was born in 2007. The goal was to promote high-quality […]

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. […]