Advocates’ Corner

Sample Letter to member of Congress:

 “As you consider reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, I encourage you to include funding specifically for grants to organizations that meet the needs of underserved communities. Services must be available when and where victims of abuse turn for assistance. For many, this may not include traditional services like crisis shelters or the criminal justice system…”

The whole letter is available online here.

Stories of Congregational Advocacy

“Invest in the future” postcard campaign

Churchgoers in Kansas and Colorado have sent more than 700 postcards to their legislators urging more responsible decisions on the federal budget. Participating churches in Kansas include Bethel college Mennonite, newton; eden; Mennonite, Moundridge; Faith Mennonite, newton; First Mennonite, Hutchinson; First Mennonite church of christian, Moundridge; new creation Fellowship church, newton; Mennonite church of the Servant, Wichita; Salina Mennonite; South Hutchinson Mennonite; as well as Glennon Heights; Mennonite, lakewood, colo.

The back of the postcard reads:

Today the U.S. spends more on its military than nearly all countries of the world combined. This level of spending is unsustainable, contributes greatly to U.S. debt, and takes resources from programs that address poverty, promote peace and protect God’s creation. Please help craft a responsible budget that reduces the deficit, cuts Pentagon spending and invests in life-giving programs.

To request postcards for your church, send an email to mccwash@mcc.org or call (202) 544-6564.

Jakub Krechowicz/dreamstime.com

High school essay contest

The MCC Washington Office is inviting submissions for our annual high school essay contest. This year’s grand prize is $300 with three honorable mention winners each receiving $100. The contest is open to Anabaptist youth of high school age, and to all youth who attend Mennonite high schools. Students can choose to write on domestic violence; the wealth gap in the United States; global poverty; or faith, values and voting. All essays must be submitted by January 27, 2012. More information is available at washington.mcc.org.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days March 23–26, 2012

Is this the fast I seek? Economy, livelihood and our national priorities

The MCC Washington Office is a co-sponsor of the 10th annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days, to be held in Washington, DC. The conference will explore economy, livelihood and our national priorities through the lens of Isaiah 58. Join other Christians in seeking a global economy and a national budget that break the yokes of injustice, poverty, hunger and unemployment throughout the world—heeding Isaiah’s call to become “repairers of the breach and restorers of streets to live in.” Register now at advocacydays.org.

Staff Updates
Christina Warner concluded her two-year term at the office on September 23. Her contributions to domestic policy issues—particularly criminal justice, the budget, and housing—will be sorely missed. We wish Christina all the best.

This past summer we enjoyed the contributions of three interns: Janelle Tupper (Cheverly, Md.), Sarah Birkebak (Grantham, Pa.), and Nathan Toews (Harrisonburg, Va.).

credit: Tammy Alexander

Jesse Epp-Fransen has begun a two-year term as Legislative Assistant and Communications Coordinator for the MCC Washington Office. Jesse is from Winnipeg, where he is a member of Charleswood Mennonite Church and recently finished a master’s degree in English literature. Jesse will divide his time between communications tasks and domestic policy issues, particularly U.S. economic justice and criminal justice.

Two new interns have joined the office this fall: Emily Wilson-Hauger, a master’s student at Brandeis University and Heather Sell, a student from Greenville College. Also, Earl Zimmerman, former MCC representative in India, is on sabbatical in our office this fall.

STAFF TRAVEL & SPEAKING

In August Theo Sitther traveled to Colombia to visit a number of communities affected by displacement and violence. Theo is available to speak about Colombia.

Also in August Theo Sitther and Luke Schrock-Hurst of MCC East Coast led a workshop on Afghanistan at Allegheny Conference’s annual meeting.

Tammy Alexander gave the sermon at Salford Mennonite Church on September 11, 2011. The sermon, entitled “A thousand paper cranes,” tied together immigration issues with the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks (sermon text available at washington.mcc.org/immigration).

To request a speaker from the MCC Washington Office, please contact us at mccwash@mcc.org.

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