Anchored deep in the identity of Anabaptists is the pride that comes from the work of peace, relief, service and reconciliation. In this issue you’ll find a celebration of Mennonite Central Committee’s work and impact. It’s a story some of us know well and swell with pride at its telling.
Our forefathers and mothers witnessed suffering and injustice — an immediate need — and asked themselves what they could do to help, and then did it. The impact of their faithfulness has surely surpassed their imaginations.
A retelling of stories like this should inspire us to consider the needs of today. I can’t help but think about this and be overwhelmed. Do you feel the weight of our current moment in history on your shoulders? I think many of us do. I have been inspired by those who are speaking up and taking action in response to racist systems, health-care inequities, climate injustices and more.
There is a reason Martyrs Mirror is still treated with reverence today. The stories we tell have power. They define us and our worldview.
The majority of Anabaptists in North America are far removed from the dangers the early Anabaptists faced. Yet for some in our communities today, harm or death because of the color of their skin, religion, gender or sexuality is still a very real danger.
Those of us in the United States are in an election year, and in the next issue of Anabaptist World our theme will be politics and faith. I’m praying that those of us who are least affected by the injustices of today will listen to our brothers and sisters who are most affected and use our voices, our bodies and our votes to demand change and justice.
Anabaptist World has been born in a time of great complexity. Even so, we are fortunate to have the support of readers like you and organizations and communities who believe in the value of independent journalism. We don’t take your support lightly. Every kind word, prayer and gift helps keep us going and able to share important stories with the world.
We feel like we have already received an outpouring of support. But if you haven’t yet, check out the AW website. At AnabaptistWorld.org you can find all the ways to support AW through subscribing, donating, joining our membership program and submitting stories or story leads. We need all of these different elements to flourish.
I need to ask one more thing of you. We need you to speak up and take action seeking justice today. I want AW to cover our communities’ justice work on our print and digital pages. I want our publication to be a witness of the faithfulness of today, and I want to share it with the world.
We can’t know what impact our faithfulness today will have in the years to come, but future generations will look back to this moment and ask what we did. How did we bring good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, give sight to the blind and set the oppressed free? May we have the courage to respond to the needs of today as our faith compels us and as Christ exemplified.