Monday, August 20, 2018
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
In this issue of DoveTales I'm glad to introduce a new effort designed to help you and your congregation as you wrestle with the question of safety.
The epidemic of mass shootings in our country has the topic of safety on all of our minds. How do we best keep schools, children and neighborhoods safe? And the horrific incident of a shooting at a church in Texas last year has many of us asking how can we keep our churches safe?
That's a question made more urgent for us because of our beliefs. As followers of Jesus who believe in his message of nonviolence, taking arms to defend against such an event isn't an option. (The effectiveness of that approach is another discussion.)
Talking through these issues with people from across our church made me realize there isn't an easy answer to this question. But the inquiry led to interesting conversations. One of which was with Anna Groff of Dove's Nest. Many of us know and appreciate the work of Dove's Nest in helping faith communities keep children and youth safe.
Anna and I talked about how Mennonite churches might address the potential of gun violence and church safety in general. We found a lot of agreement in our hopes and approaches to these questions. We decided that Dove's Nest and PJSN should offer our thoughts, together, on how to keep our churches safe.
Please read the piece co-written by Anna and me. We don't claim to have all the answers, but I hope our thoughts can help you prioritize and take next steps.
I'm grateful to work with Anna and Dove's Nest on this important issue. The "network" function of PJSN encourages us to seek knowledge and forge partnerships with like-minded people and organizations. We are stronger when we do so.
You'll also read in this issue about the Spread the Peace grants we awarded this year. Being able to support local peace initiatives is one of the most important things we do. The creativity and dedication to peacemaking found in our churches is inspiring!
Of course, it is our partnership with you that ultimately allows PJSN to support, encourage and strengthen peace and justice efforts across Mennonite Church USA. Thank you for allowing us to do our work. Your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support make it all possible!
Peace and Justice Support Network
A question of safety
By Jason Boone
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