What Is Mennonite Central Committee (History, Activities)?

As a theologian and devout Christian, I worked with numerous peace-seeking organizations like the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), which is one of my favorites. Since it has many programs in my community, I have had the privilege of actively seeing its work’s impact and helping it organize many initiatives. For instance, over the last year, I have assisted the MCC research on what my area needs in terms of conflict resolution education. With all my interactions with the organization’s local leaders, I can confidently say I am well-versed in its mission and what it does. Recently, as I tried to recruit some members of my congregation as volunteers, I first had to answer their most common question: what is Mennonite Central committee?

The Mennonite Central Committee is a worldwide nonprofit organization that aims at spreading God’s love and compassion by providing relief and peace programs to marginalized communities. It started in July 1920 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA, but has since gained a presence in over 45 countries.

This article is a definite read as it will give you an in-depth understanding of the Mennonite Central Committee, how it started, its vision, and its motto. You will also get to know where it is based and its key activities and missions. This is a piece you don’t want to miss.

What Is the History of Mennonite Central Committee?

The Mennonite Central Committee was formed on July 27/28, 1920, in Elkhart, Indiana, USA. Various representatives from Mennonite conferences converged to form the committee to help Mennonite brothers and sisters in need of food and famine relief. Part of the civilians on the agenda included Russians and Ukrainians. At the time, Russian Mennonites, who had resettled in Germany as refugees, wanted help from the committees of North America. Mennonites in Molotschana (present-day Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine) also needed relief from the extreme famine and war they were suffering from. Peter Hiebert from the Mennonite Brethren Church was chair for the first meeting with Levi Mumaw from the General Conference Mennonite as secretary.

With these successful relief programs that the MCC managed to do, the organization conducted others, including one for refugees in Paraguay and Brazil (1930-1937) and another for Mennonites in Poland (1939). Thereafter, the MCC started a Canadian branch in 1963. The current U.S. headquarters is in Akron, Pennsylvania, while the Canadian one is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Now, the MCC has over 45 offices in different countries.

What Is the Purpose of Mennonite Central Committee?

What Is Mennonite Central Committee?
The Purpose of Mennonite Central Committee. Image source: Pinterest

The purpose of the Mennonite Central Committee is to share God’s love and compassion through relief, development, and peace. It is a global nonprofit organization that works with local partners and churches to achieve its agenda of spreading peace around the world. Not only does it aim at creating stability and minimizing conflict. It also responds to disasters and distributes supplies and resources to needy communities. The organization aims to help all people meet their basic human needs while striving for worldwide peace and justice. The Mennonite Central Committee also aims to encourage environmental preservation by participating in policy-making and dialogue.

What Are the Activities of Mennonite Central Committee?

The Mennonite Central Committee is a worldwide organization that purposes to share God’s love and compassion through providing relief, development, and peace programs to marginalized communities. Here are some activities it is involved in:

  • Teaching different conflict resolution and peacebuilding strategies in high-conflict areas and communities.
  • Providing trauma healing and counseling services to children and vulnerable groups.
  • Participating in peace-oriented political advocacy in war-torn areas.
  • Addressing social and economic injustices that make areas more susceptible to violence.
  • Providing relief programs to war zones and areas impacted by famine.
  • Engaging in peace talks and conferences.
  • Advocating for fair trade between countries to achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships.
  • Facilitating cross-cultural, religious, and ethnic dialogue to allow for harmonious cohabitation among different groups.
  • Caring for God’s creations by supporting climate change initiatives.
  • Advocating for non-violent interactions between countries and the eradication of mass destruction weapons.
  • Providing churches with relevant educational and advocacy materials and resources.

What Is the Mennonite Central Committee Motto?

The Mennonite Central Committee Motto is “In the Name of Christ .”This motto was developed in the 1940s when MCC worker John Coffman made clothes for war-stricken civilians in Europe. He and his wife suggested to MCC leaders that this slogan would help promote the committee’s cause which was to spread the love and compassion of God. The motto was printed on labels, which were sewn into donated clothes and other supplies, such as food. “In the Name of Christ” is now the MCC’s slogan, with all its relief and service workers using it in all their endeavors.

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