Letters April 2014

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.

Waldo Thiessen
Altona, Man.

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.

Howard Dirks
Abbotsford, B.C.

Letters to the editor 

Mennonite Brethren Herald welcomes your letters of 150–200 words on issues relevant to the Mennonite Brethren church, especially in response to material published in the Herald. Please include name, address and phone number, and keep your letters courteous and about one subject only. We will edit letters for length and clarity. We will not publish letters sent anonymously, although we may withhold names from publication at the request of the letter writer and at our discretion. Publication is subject to space limitations. Letters also appear online. Because the Letters column is a free forum for discussion, it should be understood that letters represent the position of the letter writer, not necessarily the position of the Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church. Send letters to: Letters, MB Herald, 1310 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Man. R3M 3Z6, or by email to mbherald@mbconf.ca.

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