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 MB Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church.
Re “A persistent influence”
I completely agree with Catherine Bergs that women’s stories in Scripture are often passed over and forgotten about.
Growing up, I loved hearing the stories of Esther and Ruth. I felt empowered reading about strong women in the Bible who had a passionate love for God. As a young woman, I feel it is important to continue to teach boys and girls about these strong women, and I’m so glad that HERstory can help with that.
I also found it fascinating to learn about Hildegard von Bingen who bravely led her community in worship and wrote many books and songs in an age where woman were less respected.
As a Christian camp counsellor, I love teaching my campers about the women of the Bible. Representation matters.
This year, I will push myself to learn more about inspiring Christian woman and share what I learn with others. Women have such a crucial role in the church and should share their stories.
A faith of our own
Re Deeply rooted and growing
A Grade 12 student at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, I was especially intrigued by Spencer Meisner’s article, “Out of the womb; Part of the family.” It is important that churches try to keep their young adults as part of their community because the future of the church depends on their involvement.
I am not yet an adult; however, I am already trying to figure out ways to stay connected to my church after I graduate because my faith is important to me. I see friends slipping away from the church in part because they were taught to accept rather than discern; to blindly obey rather than to pursue a deep understanding.
It’s not a matter of these young people not having faith. But they are struggling to develop a faith of their own.
As they grow out of high school and into the real world, there isn’t enough to keep them feeling like they are a part of the church community where they can learn in a way that leads to greater maturity and ownership of faith. I don’t want to see young people fall away from faith simply because they don’t know how to stay connected in the church once the structures of youth group no longer apply.
Churches across Canada must recognize the importance of finding ways to be connected to the young adult population. This will take effort, attention, and, most importantly, the careful building of strong relationships.
Faith for the soul
“Hemorrhaging Faith: Seven Years Later” (Winter 2019) cites a church that has retained 80 percent church attendance by children having grown into their teens and even older. Since the efforts seem to be quite recent, it is not clear how the methods used can be so quickly quantified.
That aside, the significant exodus from church affiliation is not a good outcome for children or churches. Ultimately only spiritual convictions are likely to sustain: convictions born of the soul communicating with the spirit of God resulting in faith in God.
Christian teaching tends toward exclusive doctrine that essentially divides humanity into enlightened Christians and others in spiritual darkness. Theological doctrines have become such institutional strongholds that faith in doctrine has come to be synonymous with faith in God.
Consequently, children are often not adequately led to cultivate faith in God which facilitates knowing him beyond doctrinal beliefs; teaching does not emphasize Jesus’ foundational teaching to love God and fellow humans.
When teenagers recognize many people not of Christian denominations manifest faith in God and practice good, they may even feel guilty for being deemed the only ones eligible for God’s kingdom. In time they may wonder what Jesus would think of Christians supporting economic legislation that subsidizes more wealth onto existing wealth at the expense of those struggling with minimal livelihoods.
Perhaps an evaluation of Christian teaching could help ensure children find peace in their own spiritual faith.
Note from the editor
Thank you to all the readers who sent feedback on the redesign. A fresh look generates new interest; we’re grateful to those who gave MB Herald a second glance.
Magazine design needs to balance the need for attractive layout and compelling content. Our Winter 2019 may have failed to meet the demands of both beauty and readability. We have made slight adjustments to our font for Spring 2019. We welcome your feedback on the changes.