Calgary churches advertise peaceBy Deborah Froese Mennonite Church Canada
Six Calgary, Alta., Mennonite churches countered consumer-driven ads over the holiday season with a “Live for Peace” campaign.
They offered messages on billboards and C-Train posters with slogans such as “Give your conscience a workout” and “Imagine life without war.”
The campaign rose as a response to the Peace in the Public Square initiative approved by Mennonite Church Canada delegates at the 2009 assembly in Saskatoon, Sask.
Walter Wiebe, moderator for Mennonite Church Alberta, said the Calgary campaign had two primary purposes: to encourage MC Alberta people to become more public about sharing their distinctive beliefs, and to make Calgarians aware of the Mennonite church in the area and its beliefs.
Doug Klassen, campaign spokesman and pastor of Foothills Mennonite Church, explained the campaign further in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio One.
“In some ways we’re selling a different way of living,” he said. “I am hoping people can look at the world and see how we consume and how we live and how we treat each other in a different way… . Rather than it just being a cliché, we wanted people to start thinking about what they could do to make peace in the world.”
The season approaching Christmas seemed like an appropriate time to launch the initiative.
The ads – and the media coverage — directed people to Mennonite Church Canada’s live for peace Web site, launched Nov. 23.
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