As members of Mennonite Church USA, “We are called to extend God’s holistic peace, proclaiming Christ’s redemption for the world with our lives. Through Christ, God frees the world from sin and offers reconciliation. We bear witness to this gift of peace by rejecting violence and resisting injustice in all forms, and in all places.” We heed this call even when the state sanctions violence and injustice. Police abolition is a process that requires communities to create alternatives to policing. We hope this curriculum will educate, inform, and transform our thinking concerning justice, mass incarceration and how we live in harmony as a society. This process involves the deconstruction of preconceived understandings of policing.
As Anabaptists, we have long looked for a third way. We have studied the impact of war, stood against the military-industrial complex and searched for alternatives to military service. As our police force adopts the tools and tactics of our military, we as peacemakers need to think deeply about the intersection of our theology and our view of community policing.
We invite peace and justice-minded congregations and faith-based organizations to use the curriculum. Please credit Mennonite Church USA as part of any promotional materials. Please include this link to our website to consider supporting our work: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/give/
Glen Guyton, Mennonite Church USA Executive Director
“…immense gratitude for their writing, structuring, imagining. For vulnerably including their own personal stories, often painful ones. For creating a curriculum that might reach folks that were previously skeptical or suspicious. Imagining where we might be as a collective church in the coming years is exciting because of this curriculum and the conversations and challenges it generated.” – Member of Seattle Mennonite Church)
“I found the ‘Defund the Police?’ curriculum to be an extremely important experience and worth the time and effort it took to get there. Every week I was able to be there, I learned and broadened my understanding of the terrible, intertwined system that oppresses Black people at all levels. It was upsetting, discouraging, overwhelming, and yet deeply compelling. I know I need to learn and have my eyes opened even more to the injustices experienced by my Black brothers and sisters, and this was an important step for me. I appreciated the framework of the study — the videos were DEEPLY helpful and moving, bringing home truth in people’s own words.” – Terri- Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Elkhart, IN