As an online-only platform, mbherald.com will no longer have a Letters section, but every article we post includes a comment box where we welcome you to join the conversation. We also invite you to respond to articles and photos on Facebook and Twitter.
Printed pages needed
The concern of the printed MB Herald being discontinued stirs up many other issues.
Some elderly people are familiar with websites, Facebook, and emails. But, as a pastor of care in a church with mostly elderly sisters and brothers, I do not believe this will meet the needs of the majority of my spiritual family.
As an older congregation, Clearbrook MB Church has more funeral services than most churches. Over the summer and fall 2019 editions of the MB Herald, 12 of the people in the “Finish Lines” were from our church family.
What better way to give testimony to God’s faithfulness and to inspire us to remain steadfast than reading about God’s grace and mercy in the lives of his people? What better way to honour our elders?
Posting obituaries on the website certainly will not address the needs of those looking to see the obituary of their loved one in printed form.
I also think of two things that involve the printed page in our church. The first is a Christmas party our church is hosting for a secular agency at which I will provide about six different Christmas booklets as well as Bibles. The second is the Christmas booklets and digests I set out each year at first Advent, including our MB Seminary’s “As We Wait – Advent Devotionals.”
Our goal is that people will be inspired by this literature and give it to friends and family members.
What if I told people to go to a website, or Facebook, or Instagram to search for the stories of Christmas instead?
I want to say on behalf of the seniors in our church family and all who come through our doors, CCMBC’s new communications strategy will not communicate the most important message we have to these people.
Clearbrook has its own TV station so people who are unable to attend a service are able to watch the services of the church they love deeply. We are committed to using the best avenue possible to share the best message ever given.
There is ample ministry literature for children, youth, and young adults. But there is no literature geared for elderly people even though the largest demographic group in our society is those over 65.
I urge our MB leaders to consider the many people who cannot receive the message they are sending out if they eliminate the printed page.
In 2010, we sensed God calling us to leave a megachurch in Dallas to plant City Church in Montréal. God used you – people we will never meet in person – to bless us, encourage us, and to help us establish this new church.
We were attracted to the MB family because of your kingdom-sized vision to reach Canada for Christ with new church plants.
The C2C Network was a tremendous source of encouragement through training, retreats, regular staff visits, and phone calls. Having dozens of church planting brothers and sisters was a massive blessing – and those relationships continue today.
In any change, there is hurt and there can be a tendency to turn inward. We encourage our MB family to maintain a posture of boldness and urgency wed with following the Holy Spirit. Whatever the strategy, whatever the label, let us walk with big faith and prayerful expectation.
This fall, six years into our church’s history, we saw seven people get baptized including new believers from other religious backgrounds. God is using all of us to reach the lost, train the found, and release new missionaries to his beloved world.
Thank you for the incredible sacrifices that you have made to fund churches like ours. We are proud to be a small part of the MB family, and we know that God will continue to lead us forward so that our cities, nation, and world will know the Name above all other names.
Chris and Yanci McGregor
What are we losing?
Re “A wake up call” (online, Nov. 12, 2019).
Having been involved in conference work continually from 1969 until 1993, serving on various boards and as moderator, and as an MB Herald columnist, I am greatly interested in what happens to our conference.
We are setting aside the glue which unites our Canadian MB conference.
A few decades ago, we lost our main denominational college.
We are now losing our only remaining denominational periodical.
We are now losing our delegate conventions.
I remain to be convinced that with less membership participation there will be greater membership interest and commitment, financially and otherwise.
We are losing much of that which unites us not because there is no longer a need or because we do not have the resources, but because we have established seriously flawed structures, been weak in creating and projecting visions, mismanaged finances, starved our main periodical of discussion and controversy, and allowed ourselves, in some instances, to drift from our Anabaptist theology.
I believe that to a considerable degree the radical restructuring which happened in 2004 is responsible for our financial dilemma, the loss the Herald, and the general weakening of our conference.
Clearly, there are no easy answers. We all know that situations and times change.
Even so, if a convention is interesting, important, and invites involvement, delegates will come. Delegates are not much interested in being told what the leaders and staff have decided.
Even with severe financial constraints, the Herald should be relaunched in both hard copy and online. But this can be successful only if a semi-independent board of publications is elected and the periodical carries relevant articles and stimulating columnists.
Further, I believe that we should re-establish the board of management.
I have been candid but also tried to be fair and thorough. I readily acknowledge my inadequacy. Where my statement is incomplete, I ask for your understanding. Where it is faulty, I humbly ask for grace and forgiveness.