In the midst of social unrest in the United States, Mennonite Church USA has launched a Justice Fund for individuals and congregations to support MC USA churches involved in dismantling racism, addressing police brutality, reimagining policing or combating poverty.
“Many congregations are already working in these areas but have limited budgets,” said Glen Guyton, executive director of MC USA. “The Justice Fund allows us to come together and support this important ongoing work through the practice of mutual aid.”
The Justice Fund will use donations to provide grants for MC USA congregations that are engaging in their communities to dismantle racism and to build peace. Congregations also may use these funds for seed money to begin working in these areas.
MC USA will designate $2,000 to seed the Justice Fund.
“Systemic racism, government-endorsed violence and poverty are diseases which, when left unchecked, threaten us all,” Guyton said. “Our churches are obligated to proclaim Jesus’ way of peace. We can no longer be silent, and we must work together.”
He added that the Justice Fund provides a way for those who are not able to protest or may not live in racially diverse areas to make a difference.
Guyton emphasized that the new Justice Fund is consistent with MC USA’s Renewed Commitments, which state:
“We are called to extend God’s holistic peace, proclaiming Christ’s redemption for the world with our lives. Through Christ, God frees the world from sin and offers reconciliation. We bear witness to this gift of peace by rejecting violence and resisting injustice in all forms and in all places.”
Donors can give to the fund at mennoniteusa.org/give by selecting “Peace Witness” and then “Justice Fund.”
The fund is part of the denomination’s #BringThePeace initiative. #BringThePeace is a call to action for individuals and congregations to extend peace in their communities. It is also a prayer inviting God to bring the peace that expands capacity for empathy, compassion and love that actively seeks to dismantle oppression and violence.