Letters May / June 2016

Arresting title
Re “Bethany, dead at 88” (The year that was, January/February 2016). The title was different enough to attract my attention and I read the whole article. Far from being insensitive, it treated the institution as a beloved daughter whose end is mourned by all.

Shirley Bergen

Still reading
We still like receiving the Herald by snail mail, even though we follow things electronically! Thanks for keeping it going.

Hardy and Elfrieda Schroeder

The blood of Christ saves, not bloodline
In a Bible belt filled with thousands of churches, I’m having a hard time finding a church home. In every other area of our lives, my family is happy, popular, well employed and well educated. But we lack something not even tied to the gospel of grace: the right bloodline.

I love Christ passionately. My little family is diverse, part Indigenous – but who cares, right? Yet there are no church homes for us in the Fraser Valley.

I am tired of hearing about Mennonite culture at church. I go to church to worship Christ, not to enter into someone else’s family reunion or culture clubs.

Why bother with mission? Once they find Christ, where will all these “others” go to church and not be made to feel like second-class citizens?

You run vacation Bible schools, soccer camps and Christmas concerts; you extend the invitation of the gospel, but it feels like you don’t want non-Mennonites there. This is confirmed in cold stares, the lack of friendly hellos, the favouritism. You were once oppressed, but now,
you have become oppressors. The moment you landed on Canadian soil, you became part of oppression – that’s the truth in Truth and Reconciliation.

God is endlessly creative. I am as proud of my background as you Mennonite folks are of yours. Could we agree on “no culture but Christ”
proclaimed from the pulpit?

Until then, just tell us: there’s no place for us in your community churches where Christianity has become so entangled in your culture.

Name withheld by request


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@mbchurches.ca.

2 Comments on “Letters May / June 2016

  1. Re: The blood of Christ saves, not bloodline – I’m so sorry that your experience in some churches has not been fantastic! I’d like to invite you to Central Heights church in Abbotsford… I felt so welcome the second I walked through the doors. Welcomed and cared for by people who wanted to get to know me better, and to show me by their words AND their deeds how much they cared. I’m definitely not Mennonite, not the most well-dressed, and that’s never stopped ANYONE from showing me God’s love. Ever. Please come – I hope to meet you, and change your impression of church : )

  2. Re: The blood of Christ saves, not bloodline.

    I can appreciate your frustration of how often we Mennonites put borscht and buns as the watermark of who is a part of our community. This has been a great failing of ours; one in which we must repent. I would like to hear from you however, to speak into how we can be a faithful witness to the particular tradition we have inherited. As Mennonites we do have a theological framework that is distinct within the body of Christ. Mennonite Brethren in particular have attempted to hold together their history of Anabaptism as well as how Evangelicalism have influenced them. How ought our churches reflect this gift while being open and inclusive to those who do not share Russian-Mennonite ethnicity?

    I look forward to hearing from you!

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