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Authority record
Church and Peace

Mennonite Central Committee Peace Section (International and U.S.)

  • US
  • Corporate body
  • 1942-1992

1939 P.C. Hiebert, chairman of Mennonite Central Committee, chaired the new Mennonite Central Peace Committee (or Commission) – a free-standing central peace committee for constituent bodies created following a conference related to the threat of war.
1942 The Mennonite Central Committee Peace Section is established – the direct successor to Mennonite Central Peace Committee. Funding is provided by those constituent bodies who elected members to it. MCC Peace Section and Mennonites generally base the peace position on the biblical understanding of the church, Jesus’ teaching and example and understanding of Jesus’ lordship. The agency’s functions are counselling on problems related to conscription and draft, coordinating constituency witness and representation to government, preparing peace education literature, and mobilizing opinion through a center for study, research and writing regarding the biblical peace position. Harold S. Bender is chairman of the Peace Section and serves until his death in 1962. Jesse Hoover is the first executive secretary.

1948 The first Mennonite Inter-College Peace Conference was held in Chicago on Thursday, December 30, 1948. The purpose of this meeting was to see what college peace organizations can do to work together, to become more acquainted with the work of the Peace Section of the MCC and to fellowship together. - Minutes, Mennonite Inter-College Peace Conference, December 30, 1948
1957 Counseling was begun for conscientious objectors in the armed forces.
1966 After the Korean War, Peace Section tried to deal increasingly with causes rather than respond to forms of conflict. Conscientious objection as a theological position and as a legal right was promoted in Europe and South America.

1969 a Peace Section office in Washington D.C. was established.
1969 Formulation of statements of position and cultivation of witness among other Christians at home and abroad became part of the mandate. NSBRO (National Service Board for Religious Objectors) in Washington became National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors (NISBCO) to reflect the presence of board members of the Jewish faith.
1973 A Task Force on Women in Church and Society provides a forum for sharing concerns, ideas and resource material specific to the role of women.
1975 Peace Section is restructured. International and binational peace agenda were separated from American peace agenda. MCC (Canada) Peace and Social Concerns Committee (PSCC), director Dan Zehr and Peace Sections (U.S.), director John Stoner are to deal with responsibilities of national situations. Peace Section (International), director Urbane Peachey, is responsible for binational efforts and involvement abroad.
1977 Mennonite Conciliation Service was started in U.S. Peace Section to support ministries in conflict and aid positive social change.
1979 A new memorandum of understanding focuses the international peace agenda not only for the Peace Section but for MCC and the church at large.

1987 The MCC board takes action in January to transform the 14 member semi-autonomous Peace Section International board into a seven member advisory committee to the Peace Office. This now made the MCC board via the executive committee wholly responsible for the activities of the Peace Committee International. The structure change reconfirmed the MCC philosophy that justice and peace are integral in there work. The International Mennonite Peace Committee secretariat moved from Akron to Bern, Switzerland. - 1987 Workbook.
1992 Acknowledging that peace and justice concerns had become central to MCC U.S. activity, the U.S. Peace Section and MCC U.S. executive committee thought it no longer seemed necessary to delegate these areas of concern to a subset of the board. "Therefore, at the annual meeting in 1992, the board approved a recommendation from the Peace Section and MCC U.S. Executive Committee that the Peace Section board dissolve and transfer responsibility for their activities to the MCC U.S. board. – 1992 Workbook

*The Progressions of Mennonite Central Committee Peace Section 1939-1984 by Frank H. Epp and Marlene G. Epp.