Classification scheme: 

Title: Series 4: Peace and Social Concerns Committee fonds

Dates of creation: 1963-2000

Physical description: 48 cm of textual materials

Administrative history:The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of MCC Ontario (PSCC) was formed in 1965 to liaise with the Peace Section of MCC Canada and the Mennonite Central Committee, and to serve the Ontario constituency by addressing issues of peace, social and economic concerns.

In the 1960s, this included undertaking peace education in the constituency (particularly through a youth peace retreat), exploring labour management ethics, supporting the Peace Booth at the Canadian National Exhibition, and assisting Old Order Mennonites to address their concerns with growing government social welfare programs. The committee also took an interest in influencing government to restrict tobacco advertising and alleviate the affects of alcoholism.

In the 1970s, the committee continued to assist the Old Order, undertake peace education, explore labour-management conflict, and study the effects of alcohol on society. The committee became concerned with assisting American draft resisters. Although the issue of conscientious objection to the portion of income taxes spent on the military was raised in the 1960s, the committee explored the issue in more depth in the 1970s. Issues of the farm economy, land, and environment grew more prominent.

In the 1980s, the committee continued to assist the Old Order, respond to farm and environmental issues and the "war tax" issue, and undertake peace education. There were more instances of the committee representing peace and social concerns to governments. The committee reached out more often to other Christian and local peace groups to form coalitions and working groups. "Simple living" and nuclear disarmament were recurring themes. Development Education Co-ordinator Gordon Hunsberger worked on issues of justice and poverty. The committee began to promote "Peace Sunday," celebrated on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day, by creating "Peace Packet" resources for congregational worship and action. Within MCC Ontario, the committee was the cradle for the eventual development in the 1980s and 1990s of the Native Concerns Committee, Women's Concerns Committee, the Agricultural Concerns Committee and the Refugee Concerns Committee. With the birth of these separate committees, PSCC became more directly focused on "peace issues," and acquired a staff person, Nan Cressman, the Peace and Development Education Project Coordinator.

Chris Derksen Hiebert became the Peace and Social Concerns Coordinator in 1991. PSCC also began to play an advisory role to staff persons Hedy Sawadsky (Christian Peacemaker Teams) and Loral Derksen Hiebert (Development Education Coordinator). The Gulf War (1991) reaffirmed the committee's resolve to continue to "call the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches of Ontario to a Biblically rooted peace position." Peace education became the main focus, generating several constituency outreach events and projects. Esther Epp-Tiessen took the coordinator role in 1995. In 1997/1998, as part of a reorganization of MCC Ontario, the tasks of the PSCC were replaced with the Peacebuilders Programme.

Scope and content: Contains the minutes, reports and correspondence of the PSCC. Some minutes and reports of other organizations the PSCC cooperated with are also included. Also contains several files of projects and activities, as listed in the file list below.

Custodial history: This series is part of a transfer of records from Mennonite Central Committee Ontario in the early 1980s and a subsequent transfer in 2014.

Archival description created by Laureen Harder-Gissing in 2018

File list:

Series 1: Minutes and reports


Series 2: Correspondence


Series 3: Projects and activities

  1. Canadian Conference on Religion and World Peace, 1980
  2. Development Education Project, 1981-1990
  3. Canadian Council for International Cooperation (Ontario Region) Disarmament and Development Working Group, 1982-1984
  4. Ontario Anabaptist Peace Net, 1986
  5. Local Militarism Research Coalition, 1988, 1995
  6. Christian Peacemaker Team meetings, 1989-1991
  7. Ad Hoc Committee on the Environment, 1991-1992
  8. Mennonite and Brethren in Christ statements on abortion, 1991
  9. MCC Ontario Peace Consultation, 1991
  10. Meeting with the Department of National Defence re military conscientious objector status, 1992
  11. Peace and Discipleship Revival, 1992-1993
    Note: Includes a copy of the paper "Peace revivals: renewing our peace witness, evangelizing the world" by Ronald J. Sider.
  12. Haiti news clipping, 1994
    Note: Clipping is "Living and sharing a country's pain: veteran aid workers talk about Haitian experiences," Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 22 Jan 1994
  13. "The Dream/Ceasefire!" animated film project, 1995-1996
  14. The Games Project, 1995-1998
    Note: The project evaluated and promoted non-violent video games
  15. The Peace Factory, 1995-1997
    Note: An interactive exhibit, Peace Factory was a cooperative project of several Mennonite groups. It toured southwestern Ontario in 1997. Photographs of the Kitchener exhibit are described in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
  16. Peace Evangelists, 1998
  17. Peacebuilder's Table, 1998, 2000

Series 4: Peace Packets

  1. Correspondence, 1989-1995, 1997
    Note: Includes original letters from Mennonite children in India, 1995

  2. Evaluations, 1989, 1993-1994

  3. Peace Packets, 1985-1998, 2000
    Note: Copies are also located in the Milton Good Library.

  4. "To remember is to work for peace" button, 1992


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238