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This poster, designed by Jake Smucker, North Newton, Kan., draws attention to the cost of militarism, using a Dwight D. Eisenhower quote. Smucker won the MCC U.S. poster contest to illustrate the theme, “Fear not: Seek peace in our world.”

This poster, designed by Jake Smucker, North Newton, Kan., draws attention to the cost of militarism, using a Dwight D. Eisenhower quote. Smucker won the MCC U.S. poster contest to illustrate the theme, “Fear not: Seek peace in our world.”

Talk peace in a violent world

Linda Espenshade
August 30, 2013

 

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. encourages churches and community groups to make 2013-2014 a year to “talk peace,” challenging the cultural norms that support militarism and violent solutions to conflict.

Through MCC U.S., more than 30 speakers are available to help facilitate those discussions, as they draw upon their personal and professional expertise with violence and peacebuilding.

As followers of Jesus’ teachings on peace, they are available to preach or lead workshops, discussion groups and Sunday school classes throughout the U.S. Many are uniquely qualified to talk about U.S. militarism and its effects on individuals, the U.S. and the world.

This speakers’ bureau, called “Let’s Talk Peace,” includes a recent conscientious objector, MCC staff, professors and a musician and artist. In addition, people who formerly served in the military, a physician, mediators and those who have lived in the midst of violence in the U.S. and other countries are available to lead discussions.

Let’s Talk Peace is part of the third year of MCC U.S.’ ‟Fear not: Seek peace” initiative. The first two years emphasized the problems of domestic violence and gun violence and ways to seek peace at home and in the community. The third year’s focus is on militarism and ways to seek peace in our world.

“We live in a time when an extraordinary amount of resources are devoted to projecting U.S. military power around the globe,” said Titus Peachey, MCC U.S. peace education coordinator. “Veterans’ suicides, civilian casualties, overthrowing governments and the concept of perpetual war have become commonplace.

“The third year of Fear not: Seek peace will call us to probe and practice the meaning of our faith as members of the world’s largest empire and act creatively to build communities of peace.”

A list of all the peacemakers, their backgrounds and experiences, and their contact information is available at mcc.org/fearnot/speakers.

In addition, MCC U.S. provides worship resources online, including sermon ideas, to bring the topic to a congregation’s attention. Children’s stories, prayers, readers’ theater pieces and song suggestions also are on mcc.org/fearnot.

A new poster, designed by Jake Smucker, North Newton, Kan., is available to bring attention to the issue of militarism and peacebuilding. The poster and postcards urging legislators to redirect funding from the military toward meeting basic human needs are available for free at resources.mcc.org.

“We are talking about spiritual commitments, allegiance and values such as love, justice and peace,” said Peachey. “We are talking about the way and the spirit of Jesus, which contrasts greatly with the violence that permeates our lives and infuses the systems that surround us.”

For more information, visit mcc.org/fearnot or contact Peachey at TitusPeachey@mcc.org or 717-859-1151.

Mennonite Central Committee:  Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ