Looking back at 50 years

On July 1, 1968 the Mennonite Central Committee “Peace Section” opened an office in Washington, D.C. Throughout the month of July, our office will be celebrating our 50th anniversary with daily blog posts.

Some of the posts will be reflections by former staff and others who have been connected to the office over the years. Other posts will be excerpts from our print newsletter, the Washington Memo. (Don’t forget to also check out the special commemorative issue of the Memo, if you haven’t already.)

In the March-April 1971 issue of the Memo, founding director Delton Franz wrote, “We have been asked more than once during the past 2 ½ years, ‘Don’t you get discouraged with the federal government?’ We do. But then on further analysis, we recognize that it is only a very small proportion of citizens who exercise the opportunity to voice their concerns to the government.”

Fifty years later, it is still easy to get discouraged as we do advocacy work. The issues facing us are huge. And the number of people who voice their concerns to government officials is still too small. But as we join together, we can make a difference. And we trust that God is able to multiply our humble efforts to further the work of God’s kingdom on earth.

We hope you enjoy our look back this month. And as we look ahead, we hope you join with us in this work of advocacy. We would love to see you in D.C. for an anniversary reception on July 17. If you plan to attend, please RSVP online.


Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach is director of the MCC U.S. Washington Office. 

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