I am a recent subscriber to PeaceSigns and am writing to say that I am grateful for such a breath of fresh air. I have found myself very drawn to the Mennonite community of late. The people that I have known from this community have made very deep and lasting impressions on me, the reasons which are reflected in this publication. This is a community that deserves the love and respect of others, for this community truly lives its beliefs rather than solely preaching them. Thank you for contributing some sanity to these crazy times.
Jodi H. Beyeler
In response to the article "Good coffee for a good cause" (Balancing Acts, May 19, 2004): Thanks for the excellent reminder and resources about fair trade coffee. I would encourage readers who share a concern for this to check out a website that Goshen College students created to put faces on those most impacted by our purchases of fair trade coffee: <http://www.goshen.edu/fairtradecoffee>.
In January 2004, a group of Goshen College students and faculty traveled to El Salvador with an interfaith group organized by Equal Exchange, the fair trade coffee company with which MCC has partnered for its fair trade coffee program, and Crispaz to do journalism work regarding this segment of a larger picture about the global economy. The students and faculty have done significant work to share their stories, photographs and video in presentations, printed articles and interviews and an interactive web site. The group was supported in part by Mennonite Central Committee and MCC Great Lakes, as well as Goshen College's Plowshares grant and CALL (Lilly Foundation) grant.
Excellent issue (May 19, 2004)! I read it all. Now I've just got to do what I've learned. May God help me ... may God help us all.
Muriel T. Stackley
Kansas City, Kan.
Members of our local Peace/Justice Committee at Rainbow Mennonite Church take turns bringing an announcement to each Sunday's "open mic" time. I'm pleased to be able to draw on PeaceSigns in general and Susan Mark Landis's Middle East reports (including Christian Peacemaker Teams) in particular.
Lois Hess Nafziger
Thanks for the great job with PeaceSigns. I find it inspirational and challenging and hope that it is getting out to everyone in the Mennonite Church.
Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, has released a new book, The Eden Peace Witness: A Collection of Personal Accounts, a compilation of 49 stories told by church members recounting how they responded to the call to service in the U.S. military. It begins with men who were drafted to service in the First World War, and goes through the Vietnam years. The accounts of the suffering endured by some of the men are an inspiring testimony to their depth of conviction and commitment to the peace teachings of the church.
I collected these stories through personal interviews, from records of interviews on file at the Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., and from written submissions from the storytellers. I did this book in part as a preparation for the very real prospect of a new draft. I feel it is critical that we document our church's stand, so that our young people will have extra materials to defend their CO stance (Road Construction, "Feeling the draft," April 21, 2004).
The books are available from the Eden Mennonite Church office, phone 620-345-8320.
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