Media Release: MCC Centennial Celebration Tour Planned for March 2020 in Ukraine

Waterloo, ON
July 10th, 2019

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) held its first official meeting on September 27, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois. Canadian and U.S. Mennonite relief efforts came together under the umbrella of MCC to meet the desperate needs of approximately 100,000 Mennonites and other residents of southern Russia in what is now Ukraine.

MCC is planning several events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding year—including the MCC Centennial Celebration & Heritage Tour in Ukraine March 22 – April 3, 2020. Organized in partnership with TourMagination, this 13-day tour will be led by Mennonite historian Richard Thiessen, who is currently the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, B.C.

This Mennonite heritage tour will include two days in the Zaporizhzhia region with MCC staff and supporters to celebrate MCC’s history and its ongoing work. There will be an additional day of learning about MCC’s continued presence in Ukraine through visits to local partner organizations. The remaining days of the tour will be spent learning about the Russian Mennonite story in Ukraine with Richard Thiessen and local guides. During visits to the colonies of Chortitza and Molotschna, tour participants will explore villages connected to their family roots. Tour participants will be invited to make a donation toward MCC’s centennial projects that focus on helping some of the nearly 71 million displaced people in the world.

“My wife Louise and I are looking forward to joining you on this tour,” says Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director of MCC Canada. “We’ll be diving deep into the beginnings – and ongoing ministry – of MCC. It’s humbling and inspiring to know that the call to respond to today’s needs is just as critical as it was a century ago.”

“TourMagination is pleased to support the work of MCC through organizing this centennial celebration heritage tour in Ukraine,” says Audrey Voth Petkau, President of TourMagination.

See tour details at For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Sandra Reimer at 519 496-5125 or, or Laura Kalmar at 204-261-6381 or


About Mennonite Central Committee

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice in more than 50 countries. MCC envisions communities worldwide in right relationship with God, one another and creation. As we celebrate the centennial of our ministry in 2020, we reaffirm our Christ-led commitment to compassionately serve and learn from vulnerable people around the world.


Background on TourMagination

Founded in 1970 to share the Mennonite heritage story in Europe, TourMagination has led faith-based group tours in more than 50 countries and to every continent. Our mission is to help people of faith experience, explore, and expand their world. With a distinctive blend of learning and recreation, we provide an authentic cultural experience as travellers interact with locals on our tours. Our expert tour leaders and knowledgeable in-country guides help tour participants understand the significance of sites. We also facilitate community among like-minded travellers.

TourMagination signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mennonite Central Committee in May 2018 signaling our desire to collaborate more closely for mutual benefit. We are pleased to promote MCC’s valuable work and to learn from them how to make our group tours more culturally respectful and environmentally responsible. READ MORE


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