“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” (Matthew 25:35, NRSV)

From Old Testament exhortations to the words of Christ, the Bible calls us to reach out to strangers, loving and welcoming newcomers.

MCC in the U.S. helps to educate about immigration issues; advocates for sensible, humane immigration laws; works to build peace in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border; and provides documentation services to help immigrants navigate the complex immigration system.

Join us for a six-part webinar series with MCC staff, partners and church leaders around the country who will provide insight into the U.S. immigration and border crisis. Sign-up today!

Churches all around the country are seeing violence and guns affect their communities, be it through the news, mass shootings, suicide, neighborhood violence or other ways.  Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. is working at reducing this violence in these communities. Some of that work includes:

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."

- I John 4:19-21

MCC U.S. Program on Racial Justice and Gender Equity provides training and support for staff, constituency and churches to identify systems of racial and sexist oppression. Groups will learn about historic patterns of injustice and promote healing within organizations, communities and homes. Through training initiatives and resources, we seek to be transformed and reconciled through Christ. We offer:

  • Anti-racism training I: Understanding the roots of racism
  • Anti-racism training II: Understanding racism and economics
  • Anti-racism training III: Understanding policy and collaboration
  • Board and leadership training on racial justice and gender equity
  • Empowering women in leadership
  • Resources related to gender equity and sexualized violence

Abuse prevention

To help break the silence about sexualized violence in our communities and congregations MCC joins with other faith-based organizations. We raise awareness and provide resources for an effective response, prevention and care:

  • MCC U.S. offers printed resources that are useful to churches working to prevent abuse. This can also be useful for individuals who are coping with abuse or want to help a friend.
  • MCC East Coast offers domestic violence trainings to churches.
  • West Coast MCC provides legal assistance for undocumented immigrants who have been abused or assaulted, helping them to get legal residency.

The initiatives listed above are participatory and begin with a listening process to gather baseline information from representative MCC constituents – churches, universities, and constituent organizations.  This will guide our facilitated open conversations, trainings for pastors and leaders and resources.

Through this process, MCC hopes to build our constituent's capacity to address sexualized violence within their own contexts. They can begin to build awareness and provide tools for practical methods of prevention and care.

Download webinar recordings 

MCC hosted three webinars to help your congregation create a community of care for those affected by harm. And to find life-giving ways to talk about healthy sexuality and sexualized violence.

Healthy Sexuality in our Congregations

Sexualized violence, How should churches respond?

Healthy masculinity

Criminal justice education

In Jesus' first sermon, he calls for the captives to be released and for the oppressed to be free.  The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population.  MCC answers Jesus’ call be journeying alongside communities who have been targeted by the mass incarceration system towards healing and restoration.  MCC walks with churches as they work for justice alongside impacted communities.

MCC works with partner organizations to reach out to inmates through discipling and training, and through housing and employment opportunities.

Pipeline to Prison Learning Tour  
Join MCC for a Pipeline to Prison Learning Tour to learn about mass incarceration in the U.S. The tour will include visits to prisons and agencies working with incarcerated people and returning citizens in your local area.

“You got Booked!”
“You got Booked!” is an interactive learning tool developed by MCC. It provides youth and adult participants with an insight into the many flaws in the U.S. criminal justice system that lead to mass incarceration. MCC staff are available to meet with groups and guide discussion.

Engage with MCC U.S. Washington Office
We are in touch with MCC staff around the world so that we can better advocate for U.S. government policies that make for a more peaceful and just world.

Healing Communities Training
This program trains congregations on how to welcome and support formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.

 

MCC’s work reflects our belief that true security is built through friendship, mutuality, diplomacy, economic development and equitable sharing of global resources – not through military power.

"The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save. Our soul waits for the LORD ... our help and shield." (Psalm 33:17, 20, NRSV)

In addition to working for peace and nonviolence in countries around the world, MCC:

  • Advocates for reducing U.S. military expenditures and spending more on life-giving programs
  • Helps Christians explore what it means to be peacemakers in a dominant military power
  • Offers information about conscientious objection, counseling for people in the military or those thinking about joining, and resources for congregations wanting to engage with military veterans
  • Provides resources and stories on Christians who witness for peace by redirecting their war tax dollars
  • Asks people to advocate against the use of cluster bombs, which can remain deadly for decades after war

Help us explore ways to build a worldwide community that is peaceful and secure, recognizing that in our weakness, God's true strength is revealed. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Progress in the fight against HIV is happening. Fewer mothers living with HIV are passing the virus to their unborn and newborn children. Greater access to antiretroviral medications mean that children, teens and adults who have HIV live longer and stronger than ever before. Yet more must be done. Therefore, MCC continues to work with churches, schools and community groups who have a heart for people threatened by the disease.

Prevention and education
Prevention is key to stopping the spread of HIV. Adults and youth spread prevention messages to those who live around them. HIV education also decreases the stigma and discrimination that many living with HIV still face in their communities. Nutritious food, water and hygiene are essential for preventing illness and building a healthy immune system.  

Care and support
Testing, counseling and treatment are just a few of the vital services provided by MCC partners. They also help the most vulnerable people start and succeed in small business and agriculture so they can support their families. Support groups are a significant source of community and hope for people living with HIV.

 

    Christ’s invitation to live as peacemakers calls the church to embody the ministry of reconciliation that brings about God’s Shalom vision. MCC Peace Education provides resources and speakers to address a Biblically-rooted peace theology and encourage social justice projects as a response to Jesus’ call to be peacemakers.  Browse our peacebuilding focus areas below to learn more about our programs and see how you can be involved in creating God’s shalom!

    Learn more about the new adult Sunday school curriculum, Peaceful Practices: A guide to healthy communication in conflict.

    Conflict transformation training

    We are called to be ministers of reconciliation, as Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 5:18, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”  In response to this call, MCC offers resources for healthy dialogue training and conflict transformation.  Through workshops, speaking engagements, Sunday School materials and other resources, we provide tools that help us integrate our response to conflict and difference with our discipleship.   

    MCC Photo/Brenda Burkholder

    Peace education for young people

    We believe that it’s important to invest in young people, and to begin teaching peacebuilding at a young age. We offer curriculum, seminars, conferences and peace camps to children, youth and young adults. 

    One of the ways we promote peacebuilding with young people is through Peace Camps. Children, teenagers and young adults learn to recognize conflict and use nonviolent approaches in their schools. Through stories and role plays, they learn about respect, self-esteem, different perspectives and creative ideas for responding to conflict and injustice. Currently there are no in-person Peace Camps due to Covid-19. Stay tuned for more to come next year!

    MCC photo/Colin Vandenberg

    Gun violence prevention

    Churches all around the country are seeing violence and guns affect their communities, be it through the news, mass shootings, suicide, neighborhood violence or other ways.  As a people of God, we need to grapple with what a faithful response to this reality is. 

    The following are some ways MCC works to reduce violence and offer tools for others to partner in this important work:

    MCC photo/RAW Tools

    The Doctrine of Discovery education

    The Doctrine of Discovery is the theological, philosophical and legal framework established by the Christian Church that gave European governments moral and legal rights to invade and seize Indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous peoples.  MCC offers education and resources for congregations that address the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery through speaking opportunities, Loss of Turtle Island exercises and Doctrine of Discovery trainings.

    The Loss of Turtle Island is a participatory learning experience that depicts the historic relationship between European settlers – including Mennonites – and the Indigenous nations, the original inhabitants, of the land we now call the United States of America

    Central States

    MCC Central States Indigenous Visioning Circle exists to support the strength and genius of Indigenous people as they address injustices past and present by:

    • Building relationships with and among Indigenous people in the U.S., Canada and around the world
    • Educating MCC-supporters about the intersecting history between Native Americans and European settlers
    • Supporting the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
    • Exploring reconciliation between Native Americans and Mennonites
    • Advocating for justice for Native Americans today

     

    MCC photo/Laura Pauls-Thomas

    Working against Militarism

    MCC’s work reflects our belief that true security is built through friendship, mutuality, diplomacy, economic development and equitable sharing of global resources – not through military power.  Peace Education offers resources on how our faith leads us to build peace rather than join society’s reliance on violence and our nation’s pursuit of war and militarism.  In addition to working for peace and nonviolence in countries around the world, MCC:

    • Advocates for reducing U.S. military expenditures and spending more on life-giving programs
    • Helps Christians explore what it means to be peacemakers in a dominant military power
    • Offers stories, curriculum and other resources for congregations wanting to engage with military veterans, conscientious objection and other aspects of militarism
    • Provides resources and stories on Christians who witness for peace by redirecting their war tax dollars

     

     

    To help break the silence about sexualized violence in our communities and congregations MCC joins with other faith-based organizations. We raise awareness and provide resources for an effective response, prevention and care:

    • MCC U.S. offers printed resources that are useful to churches working to prevent abuse. This can also be useful for individuals who are coping with abuse or want to help a friend.
    • MCC East Coast offers domestic violence trainings to churches.
    • West Coast MCC provides legal assistance for undocumented immigrants who have been abused or assaulted, helping them to get legal residency.

    The initiatives listed above are participatory and begin with a listening process to gather baseline information from representative MCC constituents – churches, universities, and constituent organizations.  This will guide our facilitated open conversations, trainings for pastors and leaders and resources.

    Through this process, MCC hopes to build our constituent's capacity to address sexualized violence within their own contexts. They can begin to build awareness and provide tools for practical methods of prevention and care.

    Download webinar recordings 

    MCC hosted three webinars to help your congregation create a community of care for those affected by harm. And to find life-giving ways to talk about healthy sexuality and sexualized violence.

    Healthy Sexuality in our Congregations

    Sexualized violence, How should churches respond?

    Healthy masculinity

    MCC works in many areas of the world where wars, floods, sexual assault, famine and constant oppression cause severe emotional stress and suffering. Along with responding to physical needs for food, water and shelter, MCC addresses emotional and spiritual needs caused by trauma.

    Through MCC’s trauma healing training and the expertise of our partners, people gain emotional strength, resilience, renewed energy, hope and better relationships. Trauma healing includes:

    • Expressing emotions and having them validated by leaders and others who have suffered the same trauma.
    • Understanding how our brains physiologically process trauma.
    • Recognizing the connection between unhealed trauma and cycles of violence.
    • Supporting communities that have experienced trauma as they identify traditions and customs in their own cultures that help them to become emotionally and spiritually stronger.
    • Identifying and addressing unjust systems that caused or contributed to the trauma.

    MCC works with partner organizations, churches and individuals, encouraging and teaching them how to prevent violence and to transform conflict into peace.

    Some examples of our work include:

    Nigeria: Interfaith teams of peacebuilders and mediators work together throughout Plateau State, jumping into conflict situations either to resolve differences or to contain the conflict that is often charged with religion or ethnicity.

    Indonesia: An interfaith peace project intentionally brings together people of different faiths, including Indonesian Mennonites, to break down communication barriers and stereotypes. These relationships have contributed to a reduction in violence and significantly increased interfaith cooperation in the city of Solo.

    Lebanon: At the end of a peacebuilding workshop, youth leaders of all the political parties in Lebanon signed a document agreeing not to use violence to advance their parties’ agendas. This agreement is especially pertinent as Lebanon reacts to armed conflict in neighboring Syria.

    Colombia: Colombian Anabaptist and Protestant churches and related organizations are working toward a long-term reconciliation between armed groups and their victims.


    MCC photo/Kiana Fujoka

    MCC U.S. can be your resource for restorative justice education. By request we make available:

    • Training for educators who want to implement restorative justice practices in their schools or universities
    • Training people to facilitate dialogue relating to crimes of severe violence
    • Conflict transformation work with congregations dealing with contentious issues
    • Networking with other practitioners of restorative justice