WASHINGTON – At West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship (WPMF), worshippers considered how personal choices such as shopping, career paths, debt and education affect God’s global community during an October service.
Earlier in the year, the congregation focused a worship service on health care and then took action on the issue. Now, WPMF is preparing to address the issue of housing.
WPMF is one of several dozen Mennonite congregations that have dedicated a Sunday worship service to learning and acting on issues of poverty and economic justice.
These congregations are participating in Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. Washington Office’s Abundant Life: Economic Justice for All campaign, meant to raise awareness and encourage action on U.S. public policy. They used a variety of easily accessible resources from the Washington Office to help in planning for worship, discussion and action.
The campaign centers around four U.S. policy issues that have the potential to create greater economic justice across the globe: health care, international debt relief, housing and trade. Dates of specific Sundays are suggested as days to concentrate on each topic.
Two more Sundays for prayer and action are coming up, focused on housing (Jan. 31) and trade (April 25). Congregations are invited and encouraged to participate.
At WPMF, 70 to 80 people participated in the worship service with the health care theme on July 19. The service led to a response time during which congregants shared their own stories as health care professionals struggling with the current health care system. Afterward, the congregation sent 40 letters to government representatives, expressing their concerns and desires for future policy.
At College Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind., the July health care service drew more than 100 participants for a discussion with Anne Krabill Hershberger, retired associate professor of nursing at Goshen College, and Don Yost, of Maple City Health Care Center in Goshen.
“The Abundant Life campaign provides an opportunity for congregations to learn about current economic justice issues and then to respond by making their perspective known to policymakers,” said Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director of the Washington Office.
For more information on the campaign and to sign up for resources, visit the Washington Office website at washington.mcc.org/life
In addition, the “Washington Memo,” published quarterly by the Washington Office, includes articles and analysis about U.S. policies from an Anabaptist perspective.
Campaign resources in the Washington Memo include worship resources, reflections and prayer, as well as a sample letter to representatives. Featured articles are from both Washington Office staff and other MCC workers who see the direct effect public policies have on MCC partners and their work.