November 21, 2014
by Dave Nickel
Chaplain and member of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Eastern Carolina congregations collect  ‘alternative taxes’ for CPT peace work

District congregations do not always agree with one another. Along with discussing how we may be at variance with one another, the district council for Eastern Carolina District decided to focus on one way our congregations are united: we are called to live Christ’s peace, and we are frustrated by our complicity in the United States military industrial complex.

Using Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) materials, the council chose to educate the congregants through a series of bulletin inserts which showed that almost 50% of our federal tax dollars go to military spending.

As the capstone of the education, Isaac Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, proposed that each of our congregations take up a special offering for Christian Peacemaker Teams during tax season. He said “Call it an alternative tax for those of us who want to be more complicit in peacemaking efforts.”

It was a successful endeavor, with all five congregations taking up special offerings. The offerings were collected and sent to Lowell Miller, the treasurer of ECD. Lowell cut a check on behalf of the district for $3,394 in support of CPT’s peace work.

We hope this will become an annual practice among ECD congregations, and we hope other ways of supporting and doing peace work will continue to unite our congregations.

Disagreements and all, the congregations of Eastern Carolina District strive to support and encourage one another in the peacemaking work of Jesus Christ.

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