Central District adopts peace pledgeBy Sheldon C. Good Mennonite World Review
Central District Conference delegates have accepted a pledge that invites congregations to commit to peacebuilding by encountering the realities of war.
With no dissenters, delegates voted to accept “A Congregational Peace Pledge” at the conference’s annual meeting June 21-23 at the Mennonite Church of Normal in Normal, Ill.
The pledge invites Central District Conference congregations “who wish to be intentional about the reality of war, its victims and the hard questions it asks of nonviolent followers of Jesus” to commit to three actions.
“Every congregation will approach this differently; we want it to be an invitation,” said Lois Johns Kaufmann, conference minister of Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA.
Forty-five congregations make up Central District Conference. It’s unknown how many will implement the pledge.
“We entrust our congregations to do with this resolution as they discern,” Johns Kaufmann said. “We don’t see this as legislature. It’s not binding, but it offers a way for us to call each other to more faithfulness, to be who we say we are.”
The pledge invites congregations to commit to:
For each 100 members in the congregation, send one member on a delegation to a conflict zone with Christian Peacemaker Teams, Witness for Peace, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Mission Network or other organizations dedicated to providing a nonviolent presence internationally or locally. After the trip the congregation will assist the member with sharing about his or her experiences with the congregation and other local audiences.
Sponsor at least one event each year that asks youth to question participation in war. Examples can include youth group education, counter-recruitment efforts in local schools or providing a counter-presence when military recruiters visit local schools.
Bring at least one speaker to the congregation each year who has worked at peacebuilding with victims of war, is a former combatant or did alternative service during a war. The Oasis of Hope community in Newport News, Va., Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Harrisonburg, Va., and the MCC Peace Office can be sources of speakers.
Comment on the article Central District adopts peace pledge
Please keep comments civil. MWR editors reserve the right to remove any comment. When posting a comment, you agree to the MWR Comments Policy. Name and comment will be posted; commenters are strongly encouraged to give their full name. Email address is for follow-up only and will not be made public.