Readers write: September 5, 2011 issue

August 31, 2011 | Viewpoints

Treasurer defends MC Canada cutbacks
Re: “MC Canada applauded for unpopular cutbacks” letter, July 11, page 8.

I’m heartened to hear that letter writer Jake Rempel is going to send more money to Mennonite Church Canada to help run its programs. I am, however, disheartened by his comment that MC Canada and other church organizations need to trim our “bloated budgets.”

I would like to challenge Rempel to tell me and the rest of the board of MC Canada how our budgets over the past four years or so were bloated? The cuts that were made have brought our spending in line with donations, but at the cost of having to cut some programs and restructure others.

How is this dealing with a bloated budget? Should we have asked our staff to take pay cuts to keep programming going as it was? We’re already feeling a lack of applicants for our vacant positions because we’re at the bottom end of the pay scale for this kind of work.

Yes, good leadership will make the hard choices, but it has made MC Canada a smaller organization. Are we less bloated by being smaller?

There are many exciting things happening in Canada among our brothers and sisters from around the world. They want to be Mennonites, and now we may not be able to provide much support for that to happen.

I pray that many more people are convinced to send us more money, so we can replace some of the programming that was cut, so our church can grow and God can continue to do great and marvellous things in his church.

Gordon Peters, Saskatoon, Sask.
Gordon Peters is treasurer of MC Canada.


In praise of Canadian Mennonite
I want to thank you all and commend you for your intense and enticing contributions to the Canadian Mennonite. I have been a reader of Canadian Mennonite for about a year or so and I have always enjoyed it.

However, I have really noticed the magazine upping its intensity in the past month and have found the conversations surrounding politics, sexuality, involving youth, including other cultures as part of the Mennonite mainstream, and involving those with other professional gifts to be especially pertinent and enlightening.

I have been feeling like I am learning something new every time I read Canadian Mennonite and it often causes me to feel inspired. I feel it is important to let you know, based on the results of your reader survey, that this is coming from a young reader.

Stephanie Ens, Winnipeg, Man.


Future church will be in good hands with Harmony
After 50-plus years in the same congregation, it should be no surprise to anyone that I have been discouraged from time to time.

What has been very encouraging for me, in the last few years is working with the young people in the group now known as Harmony: Mennonites for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) Inclusion. I was encouraged not so much by getting a resolution in front of the Mennonite Church Canada assembly this summer, as by the young people’s faith, and their dedication to, and, in the importance of the church.

MC Canada, it seems to me, will continue to be in good and faithful hands in the future.

Jim Suderman, Winnipeg, Man.


MDS changed logo to better reflect ‘helping’ ethos
Re: “Just trying to help,” July 11, page 4.

I appreciated Will Braun’s article about Christians helping those in need and was happy to see a Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) reference/picture included. In response to the section subtitled “Overcoming differences” on page 6, I would like to highlight the logo change at MDS as evidence of progression in changing our thinking.

Our old logo had hands on an angle—one hand reaching down to the other—implying that the help is coming from someone “higher” and “pulling up” the disaster-affected person. This logo (pictured) was intentionally redesigned in the late 1990s to now show an equal partnering of the helper/person being helped.

I think this is a great example of what Braun was describing in that section, as aspects we need to work on as we continue helping those around us who are hurting.

Lois Nickel, Winnipeg, Man.
Lois Nickel is Region V manager of Mennonite Disaster Service.

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