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Mennonite Responses to Terrorism and Possible War with IraqJan 30, 2003
Mennonite Church USA has worked through its:
to disseminate information and ideas for nonviolent alternatives to the war on terrorism, in particular a U.S.-led war on Iraq, to:
Mennonites continually send information, worship and action ideas to congregations and other groups.
Jan 2002 Laypeople and MC USA leaders met at "peace gatherings" in Harrisonburg, VA, and Dallas, TX, in mid-January to help congregations form creative peace responses in their communities concerning terrorism and war. (link)
March 2002 Mennonite peace staff (MC USA, MC Canada, MCC US, Washington Office, MCC Canada, CPT) began meeting regularly to talk about ways to promote nonviolent alternatives to war with Iraq.
Palm Sunday Prayer and Fax - About 4,000 Mennonites sent faxes to the White House to protest the first inklings of war with Iraq.
May 2002 MCC (Daryl Byler) took oil lamps and letters from Mennonite Church USA/MC Canada to Christian leaders in Iraq. The lamps and letters are symbols to the Christian leaders in Iraq that Mennonites are praying for them. (link)
July 2002 Congregational peace training materials ("Second Mild: A Peace Journey for Congregations") released through Mennonite Publishing House. (link)
August 2002 MC USA, MC Canada, MCC, and CPT joined together in a peace campaign for August: "The Fruit of Peace is Security, Terror the Harvest of War: A call for peace with Iraq" -- encouraging congregations and individuals to: pray for peace with Iraq and Iraqi people, engage in public worship and action for peace, and communicate concerns to government leaders and their communities. (link)
Peace flags developed and promoted to Mennonites and other faith groups. 2,000 peace flag orders from Mennonites and other groups within 3 weeks of announcement of their availability. Peace flags have been reordered due to response. (link)
Sept 2002 Over 17,000 signatures on letter to Pres Bush against invasion of Iraq. M C USA Executive Director Jim Schrag and Peace Advocate Susan Mark Landis took signatures to Washington. Schrag spoke at a press conference called by churches for Middle East Peace and the National Council of Churches. Schrag, Landis and Daryl Byler, Mennonite Central Committee-Washington, delivered the signatures to Benjamin Miller, who carries the Iraq portfolio for the National Security Council, at the White House. (link)
Oct 2002 Walk for Peace: Mennonite pastoral intern from Pittsburgh spent two weeks walking to DC, promoting peace and carrying Peace Flag. Example of the creative ways Mennonites are using to express their belief in the way of peace.
Congregations placed ads and sent letters to newspaper editors to encourage nonviolent alternatives to war.
Peace Sunday - Nov 10
Email media advisory with peace resources, links, background information on Mennonite peace stance sent to over 400 secular media outlets.
Christian Peacemaker trips to Iraq began in November.
Dec 2002 Peace Bear Package. T-shirts, bumper stickers-Peace bear packages with "Peace begins with Me" t-shirts, coloring posters, peacemaking certificates, information for parents to talk to their children about peacemaking - made available for ordering.
"Pray for Peace, Act for Peace" T-shirts sold out; reorder needed almost immediately, "Pray for Peace, Act for Peace" bumper stickers produced.
Season of Peacemaking -National Council of Churches used Mennonite peace resources and ideas to wage a "season of peacemaking" campaign:
January Peace Blitz 10,000 people (Mennonites and others) made commitment to commit to 10 actions during January to help avert war. Many Mennonites took part in activities around the country on Jan. 18; MC USA leaders took part in the MLK, Jr. worship service at the National Cathedral in Washington Jan. 20. (link)
Email media advisory with updated list of peace resources, Web links and background information on Mennonite peace stance sent to secular media outlets the day after President Bush's State of the Union Address. (link)
MC USA Peace Advocate Office responded to growing number of requests for media interviews including making arrangements for interviews with a Japanese newspaper with 8.3 million subscribers.