Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan (MCCS)

The Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan (MCCS) is the provincial arm of the larger Mennonite Central Committee Canada, which in turn is the national partner of the international Mennonite Central Committee with headquarters in Akron, Pennsylvania. The motto of all these organizations is to provide assistance to those in need “In the Name of Christ.” MCCS does not officially represent or speak for any church or denomination. Though initially formed to assist needy Mennonites, it has developed a vision for worldwide assistance. Volunteers, funds and material are delivered by MCCS to any individual or group of peoples who have experienced violence, war, famine or natural disaster. MCCS works in the areas of service, relief, peace, justice and development, and has placed 1,400 workers in 58 countries.

The international MCC was organized in North America in 1920 to centralize the efforts of a number of local relief organizations formed to respond to an appeal for help from the Mennonite communities in Russia, which were devastated by war, famine and Communist persecution. In 1922, in Canada the principle relief organization was the Mennonite Board of Colonization headquartered in Rosthern. By 1930 this organization assisted the immigration of 20,000 Russian Mennonites to settle in Canada, mostly in the prairies. The Mennonite Central Relief Committee for Western Canada was formed in 1940 with a number of responsibilities, including collecting the Reiseschuld (immigrant's travel debt), taking care of the mentally ill and weak, providing relief in the province and abroad, and providing assistance for funerals. In 1947 this office moved from Rosthern to Saskatoon. These two organizations amalgamated in 1961 under the name Canadian Mennonite Relief and Immigration Committee (CMRIC). MCCS was finally created in October 1964 when the churches belonging to CMRIC and Mennonite Disaster Service joined together.

MCCS is supported by individuals, congregations and conferences of many different Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Saskatchewan. All participation is voluntary and fundraising is done through general donations, special projects, thrift stores and an annual relief auction. Christian service volunteers come mostly from Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches but may be from any church.

Leonard Doell