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Creating connections between American veterans and peace churches

Jason Boone, Evan Knappenberger and Titus Peachey authored a new Sunday school curriculum that addresses ways pacifists and veterans can work together toward peace.
Release date: 
Monday, 16 February 2015

Akron, Pennsylvania, USA – Several North American agencies have collaborated to produce a new Sunday school curriculum focused on building bridges between peace churches and military veterans.

 “Returning Veterans, Returning Hope: Seeking Peace Together” was created by Mennonite Central Committee, the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) and Mennonite Mission Network (MMN). MCUSA is a Mennonite World Conference member church, while MCC and MMN are linked to MWC through its Mission Commission – MCC through the Commission’s Global Anabaptist Service Network and MNN through the Global Mission Fellowship.

Released in late 2014 on a U.S. holiday that honors military veterans, the free six-week course focuses on biblical reflections and insights about trauma with significant input from a third source.

Evan Knappenberger, an Iraq War veteran studying at Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA) spent part of 2014 researching and writing as part of a nontraditional Ministry Inquiry Program placement.

“I did a lot of coordinating with veterans in the Mennonite world,” he said. “In almost every little Mennonite community there is one or two, if not more. There are a lot more in the Brethren in Christ church in Pennsylvania.”

Curriculum creators see the materials as a relatively new field for North American Mennonites – addressing how Christian pacifists can embrace returning warriors.

“There are a lot of potentially good things that veterans can offer churches,” said Knappenberger. “There are good qualities of soldiers and veterans. Gandhi was a veteran; Tolstoy was a veteran. The people who teach us nonviolence, many of them wore a uniform.”

Click here to see the free Sunday school curriculum “Returning Veterans. Returning hope.”

– Adapted from a Mennonite World Review news release by Tim Huber

Jason BooneEvan KnappenbergerTitus Peachey

 

Geographic representation: 
North America

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