Mennonite Church USA has launched an initiative to raise awareness about the economics of war and the impact of militarism on communities. During February and March, MC USA will offer educational events, resources, prayers and ways to actively practice war resistance.
Titled “Cost of War,” the activities are part of MC USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join” initiatives that create opportunities for deepening understanding around a common topic and coming together in prayer and support. In addition to an online webinar Feb. 25, peacemakers from across the denomination will contribute blogs on war resistance and peace, and a prayer is available for Palm Sunday, March 28.
“War and systemic violence have the greatest repercussions on the most vulnerable,” said Sue Park-Hur, MC USA denominational minister for transformative peacemaking. “Through this initiative, we hope to reinvigorate our prophetic peace witness by focusing on the astronomical economic cost of war that is paid with our tax dollars, our lives and our land.”
“Cost of War” is a collaboration with Mennonites Against Militarism, a denomination-wide initiative to inform potential peacemakers about the corrosive ways militarism influences people’s daily lives.
The panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Feb. 25 will focus on the economics of war. War resisters sharing how they oppose paying for war include:
— Linda Gehman Peachey, a freelance writer and former co-director of Mennonite Central Committee’s Peace and Justice Ministries.
— Cyneatha Millsaps, co-pastor of Prairie Street Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind., and executive director of Mennonite Women USA.
— Weldon Nisly, temporary outreach associate for Congregational Engagement with Christian Peacemaker Teams and former pastor.
— Rick Yoder, professor emeritus at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., who also has international experience working abroad for health reform and microfinance.
MC USA’s advocacy work includes the denomination’s Church Peace Tax Fund, which provides funding for war resisters and educational peace programs, and the Justice Fund, a mutual aid fund that assists MC USA congregations engaging their communities to dismantle racism and build peace.
The Palm Sunday prayer was written by Amy Yoder McGlaughlin, pastor of Frazer Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania. MC USA is encouraging congregations to share the prayer on March 28 as way to highlight Jesus’ peaceful resistance to empire and colonialism.
More information is at mennoniteusa.org/ministry/peacebuilding/learn-pray-join/cost-of-war.