Big issues come in small pamphlets
BFL resource a taste of truth and love
The Board of Faith and Life’s “Making our weddings Christian” pamphlet goes into every premarital counselling packet at College Drive Community Church, Lethbridge, Alta. “It challenges a couple to see their wedding as God-centred,” says pastor Brent Miller.
When a college student interviewed Miller for a school magazine article about abortion, he wished for a BFL pamphlet to give them because “they’re a great way to articulate MB distinctives,” he says.
Miller won’t have to wait long: BFL member Andrew Dyck says the BFL plans to complete pamphlets on the sanctity of life (including abortion and euthanasia) and creation this year. That will bring the total topics covered to 22.
“When I was a pastor, I frequently consulted BFL pamphlets as I prepared to teach, and I recommended them to individuals in my congregation,” says Dyck.
Many pamphlets have been redesigned, and the text of the homosexuality and AIDS pamphlets is scheduled for a full update following the human sexuality study conference in October.
Karen Willms, welcome centre coordinator at Forest Grove Community Church, Saskatoon, says certain pamphlets disappear from her shelves faster than others; for example, “Children and communion,” “Mennonite Brethren: Tell me about them,” “What should we think about suicide?” and “Materialism: blowing the whistle.”
Addressing sensitive issues
“I believe my students were encouraged to see our churches addressing sensitive issues in this way, as they are not often addressed from the pulpit,” says Garth Klassen who gave his Grade 12 Bible students at Mennonite Educational Institute, Abbotsford, B.C., BFL pamphlets on topics such as homosexuality, suicide and media choices to address questions that came up in the class’s Life Issues unit.
In the future, Klassen plans to use the pamphlets more extensively, perhaps as group discussion guides or assigned reader response texts.
At only 40 cents each plus shipping, obtaining class sets is feasible. For MB churches, the pamphlets are free of charge.
“I found them to be a useful summary of our Anabaptist positions,” says Klassen, “especially as I stressed responding with both truth and grace.”
In addition to ordering hardcopies from Kindred Productions, churches, schools and individuals may download the pdfs from the MB conference site (mennonitebrethren.ca) or L2L’s resource library (www.l2lnet.org/resources).
“The pamphlets are an excellent starting point in getting oriented on a given social, theological, or lifestyle issue,” says L2L lifelong learning host Daniel Beutler. “And they continue to be a valuable resource on a discipleship issues from the perspective of our identity as Mennonite Brethren.”
BFL Pamphlet Series
Anabaptism: The basic beliefs
Marriage and Family
Death and dying
In the works:
The Sanctity of Life (coming 2015)