MennoMedia takes ‘Waging Peace’ on the road
By Steve Shenk
WATERLOO, Ont.—More than 700 people in nine churches, mosques and other sites in Ontario viewed MennoMedia’s new documentary, Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives, Feb. 12-19.
Accompanying the film was Sheri Hartzler, director of electronic media for MennoMedia and the project’s executive producer. Most screenings were followed by a discussion led by a multi-faith panel, including people who participated in the film project. Cookies, tea and coffee, and extended conversations often ended the events.
“It was a privilege to come to Ontario and to meet Muslims and Christians alike who are passionate about the importance of interfaith dialogue and action,” said Hartzler, who works at MennoMedia’s office in Harrisonburg, Va.
The one-hour Waging Peace program, released through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, aired on more than 130 ABC-TV stations last fall and will air on NBC stations, at their discretion, during a six-month period beginning Apr. 29.
Filmmaker Burton Buller used stories and interviews to show how people are overcoming interfaith mistrust, hatred, and violence.
Several of the stories in Waging Peace took place in Ontario—refugee sponsorships involving churches and mosques in partnership, interfaith breakfast meetings, and Muslim students at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate.
During the film tour, CTV News of Southwestern Ontario named Mennonites and Muslims “local heroes” on its Feb. 15 broadcast. In addition to interviews with Muslim and Mennonite leaders, the news report showed Mennonites and Muslims kneeling to pray at the Islamic Centre of Cambridge.
Waging Peace was screened at Conrad Grebel University College, the Turkish Cultural Center in Toronto, the Islamic Centre of Cambridge, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, and United Mennonite Educational Institute. It was also shown at four Mennonite churches—Floradale, Vineland United, Toronto United, and Steinmann.
Leon Kehl, who is involved in refugee sponsorships and interfaith dialogue, coordinated the Waging Peace tour.
Supporting the screenings were Mennonite Central Committee Ontario, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, Islamic Centre of Cambridge, Intercultural Dialogue Institute, and other local churches and organizations.
The documentary is ideal for discussions in Sunday school classes and congregational small groups. It can be purchased on DVD for $27.95 in Canada and $24.95 in the U.S. by going to www.WagingPeaceAlternatives.com or calling 800-631-6535 (Canada) or 800-245-7894 (U.S.). A study guide is available at the website.
MennoMedia, formed in a merger last July, is a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Its Canadian office is in Waterloo, Ont.
For more information, contact Steve Shenk, director of marketing and sales, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540 908-2592.