Military chaplains matter
Re “Chaplains: Leading the missional charge”(Features, February). It’s wonderful to see us looking for new approaches for “taking Jesus to the people.” Going to bikers, prisons, care homes and sport teams are commendable ways to reach out to those who are either unable or unwilling to come to our places of worship.
However, it appears we’ve dismissed military personnel as not being part of that opportunity and even responsibility. For the past four years, I’ve served as padre to a small Royal Canadian Legion. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at Remembrance Day services, decoration days and school assemblies, and, at least once a month, I sit with veterans and listen to their experiences. Sometimes we pray together if it’s appropriate, but I can always bring them to God’s throne in my private prayers.
I fit neither the stereotype of “a bearded and sombre Mennonite chaplain or even a skinny-jeaned, latté-wielding one.” When my Mennonite friends discover what I’m doing, they often raise their eyebrows and recite the stereotype of what they think a Legion meeting is. My response is that it’s a place where there are broken and hurting people who often have gone through terrifying experiences I find difficult to comprehend.
Opportunity to speak into Canadian law
I recently attended a forum on prostitution in Canada. This issue calls for our urgent consideration in view of the fact that on Dec. 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down our current laws on prostitution and has given Parliament a one-year deadline to enact new ones.
We have a responsibility as members of this democracy to hold our elected officials accountable and challenge them to take this opportunity to enact legislation that will protect all Canadians from the unscrupulous and predatory; to let our Members of Parliament know that they have been elected to formulate laws that declare the buying and selling of human beings a crime. They need the courage to act. Let’s challenge them and pray for their success.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada website is a good place to start regarding information, tips, tools and resources for individuals and groups wanting to get involved.
Letters to the editor
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