The origins of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada)

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Epp, Esther Ruth.
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The formation of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada) (MCCC) in December 1963 was a significant development for the Mennonite people in Canada and indeed for Canada as a whole. For the first time all the diverse Mennonite and Brethren in Christ groups had a common organization through which they could pursue various activities in such areas as immigration, relief, mutual aid, peace, and other social concerns. In the nearly two hundred years of Mennonite presence in Canada, no Mennonite organization had been created with such a wide scope in either purpose or representation. MCCC was not founded, at least not explicitly, for other secondary reasons, but there were some important by-products. As it became a fundamental and central Mennonite institution, MCCC began to fulfill sociological and psychological functions for the minority group in question. It provided the closest substitute in Canada for the role filled, for example in Russia, by the Mennonite "Commonwealth," and as such increasingly came to represent the Mennonite identity in Canada. Though it did not replace the various congregational and conference families as the primary Mennonite collectivity, MCCC was the institution which helped to ensure the survival of the Canadian Mennonites as a cultural expression and more importantly, in their eyes, as a religious body...