In a time of uncertainty and social distancing, we want to offer you a selection of resources that MCC has prepared over the years for congregations, families and individuals. From prayers to recipes and cooking videos, from colouring pages to videos that give you a glimpse of life across the world, we hope we are able to offer something that may encourage or nourish you in an extraordinary time.
(Top photo: Noog flowers grown for their oil, border fields of teff. Teff is the tiny grain used in making injera, the local flatbread eaten at almost every meal in Ethiopia. The fields are next to a ravine and are part of a watershed rehabilitation effort of MCC and partner Ethiopian Mulu Wongel Amagnoch Church Development Organization.)
Here are some MCC resources that focus on Scripture or prayer and can be easily used by congregations, small groups or even families.
Centennial worship packet: With thanksgiving, we are reconciled for ministry
MCC began 100 years ago in a time of great need. Explore a packet of prayers, Scripture passages and stories from that time and throughout MCC’s history.
As you meet virtually for church or small group discussion, draw from this resource on the theme of finding God's peace amid fear and uncertainty.
Gracias Señor por el Pan
This Latin American table grace, often used at MCC and MCC partner gatherings in countries from Guatemala to Colombia, is sung by Saulo Padilla, MCC U.S. immigration education coordinator.
Dig into cooking traditions from around the world.
Recipes and reflections
Here is a small collection of reflections and stories that we hope may resonate, encourage or distract in this time of uncertainty.
A special message from Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director of MCC Canada, in these difficult, unprecedented times.
In a time of uncertainty
Anna Vogt of MCC Canada’s Ottawa Office spent years working with MCC in Colombia, living alongside and learning from people who had weathered decades of war, forced displacement and times when threats were too imminent to leave their homes. She invites us – in our own time of change – to look to our global neighbours who have lived through intense periods of uncertainty and fear and chosen to love.
Words from the past
MCC was born in a time of extreme suffering. And through the years, MCC has worked alongside people experiencing war, hunger, drought and displacement. Our 100 stories for 100 years project includes many accounts of survival, of responding creatively to needs in the midst of crisis.
Palestinian needlework and MCC
An embroidery tradition provides comfort and income during years of war and displacement.
Voices from MCC’s beginnings
“I do not remember when we had read so much from Lamentations as at this time.” See historical readings from the time of hunger and tumult in southern Russia (present-day Ukraine) when MCC began, combined with readings from Lamentations.
Rescuing Jewish children: The story of Lois Gunden
Read about a 26-year-old Mennonite woman who set out from Indiana to work with MCC in France, more than a year after France had surrendered to the Nazis and was under German occupation.
Bread, in God’s name, bread
MCC was formed to answer the call for bread. And through the decades, bread has remained a powerful part of our work. Explore the hope that MCC has seen bread bring in communities across continents.
Women on the move for MCC
Read about women such as Mary Emma Showalter, who coordinated feeding operations in Egypt in 1945 for a "nice-sized family" of 1,075 children. Cooking later at MCC's center in London, she sorted ration books and food coupons. “I did not know an egg could taste so good until now when we get only three or four apiece each month,” Showalter wrote in one report.
Civilian Public Service
During World War II, conscientious objectors in the U.S. set out from their homes, often farther than they had ever ventured, to serve as smoke jumpers and forest fighters or to work in areas like soil conservation. Later, they served where few people ever went by choice: U.S. mental hospitals. Read more about Civilian Public Service efforts overall, or explore How Civilian Public Service changed mental health care in the U.S.
Making a difference in the worst of times
Explore MCC's efforts to respond in times of crisis over the past 100 years.
100 stories for 100 years
Explore the timeline to see stories through the decades and across continents.
Need a lighter distraction?
Here's a dose of fur and feathers.
A video view
Dip into the worlds of people in MCC programs from Syria to Cambodia.
Here are some ideas for families working to find new rhythms at home.
Time to colour
Activity and calendar pages: My Coins Count
Through MCC’s My Coins Count, children are making a difference, collecting spare change that adds up to large impact for families and communities around the world. Use this time to explore some My Coins Count activity pages, calendar pages and a colouring page.
Hello children’s pages
One-page activity sheets for children. Learn to say hello in a different language, get a glimpse of a child’s life in another country and explore a simple activity.
A video view: children’s lives around the world
Wondering what a classroom in Cambodia might look like, or the daily life of a schoolgirl in rural Kenya? Here are some videos that offer insights into daily life and routines of children across the globe.
Kids can change the world
Explore stories of how children are making a difference for the world through MCC.
Kids can change the world: School kits to Kampuchea (present-day Cambodia)
See story cards showing how children spoke out to ask that MCC supplies reach children in Kampuchea (present-day Cambodia).
Menno’s Marvelous Day
See a video adaptation of a children’s book about MCC meat canning in Kidron, Ohio. (Did you know that each year, volunteers donate and can meat for MCC to send to hungry people around the world? This effort has produced more than 38 million pounds of meat for people since it began in 1946. Want to learn more? Check out a day in the life of MCC’s canning crew.)
Naomi’s colouring recital
Read about an Ontario girl whose annual colouring events raise money for MCC.
More ideas for parents
Want some more ideas as you settle into the rhythm of being home together? Or just interested in some resources for looking deeper at living simply or exploring what is enough in our world?
Kits are for caring
We know this isn’t a time to go out and shop for supplies for an MCC relief kit. But feel free to adapt this curriculum to talk with children about people in need around the world and how these supplies can help. This printable package includes activity ideas, colouring pages and some Hello children’s pages.
See some ideas for living out faith as a family, creating family traditions and celebrating together. (Taken from MCC’s book Parent Trek)
Got fabric and sewing supplies at home? Itching for a project? Make plans to sew an MCC comforter or MCC kit bag.
Turn squares of fabric into a message of warmth and compassion by making an MCC comforter.
Sewing kit bags
Supplies for MCC hygiene, school and sewing kits are packed into useful cloth bags made by volunteers and prized by those who receive the kits.
Making receiving blankets, gowns and T-shirts for infant care kits
Help mothers give their infants a good start. You can sew receiving blankets, gowns and T-shirts for MCC infant care kits.