AW Book Forum Presentation
In our first Anabaptist Witness Book Forum, we want to share with you three responses to Alain Epp Weaver’s book Service and the Ministry of Reconciliation: A Missiological History of Mennonite Central Committee. In this work—developed from the 2019 Menno Simons lectures delivered at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas—Weaver reflects on the evolving and sometimes competing missiologies that have emerged from within and shaped MCC’s practice of Christian service over the course of a century. He dissects and analyzes the shifts, tensions, and persistent themes in how MCC has understood its mission, paying attention to how such service unfolded within and was shaped by specific landscapes. While the chapters in Weaver’s book examine different aspects of MCC’s history and present practice, they also ask questions relevant to contexts beyond Mennonites and MCC. In this respect, every chapter reflects on the meaning of Christian service through the case study of MCC, which has “service in the name of Christ” as one of its mottos.
Alain Epp Weaver, Lancaster, Pa., has worked in strategic planning for the past decade in the Mennonite Central Committee office in Akron, Pa. Previous to that, he spent 11 years in the Middle East with MCC, teaching English in a Catholic school in the West Bank, coordinating programs in Gaza, and directing programs in Israel-Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq. Epp Weaver has degrees from Bethel College and the University of Chicago (master’s and doctoral). He is the author of several books, among them, Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future (Fortress, 2014).
The three responses to Weaver’s book will be offered by a diverse group of scholars connected to the global Mennonite church. These responses will be shared online during February 2022. Regina Shands Stoltzfus will provide the first response, followed by Andrés Pacheco Lozano’s and Anicka Fast’s responses. This book forum will conclude with a response from the author himself. We are grateful to Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Andrés Pacheco Lozano, and Anicka Fast for giving us the opportunity to share their reflections on Weaver’s book, and we are especially grateful to Alain Epp Weaver for offering this historical account of Mennonite Central Committee’s century of global relief, development, and peace ministries.
Marcos Acosta and Luis Tapia Rubio – Online Content Editors