Readers write: May 28, 2012 issue

May 23, 2012 | Viewpoints | Volume 16 Issue 11

Mennonites can serve Jesus Christ . . . or Stephen Harper

The day after the last federal election, which gave the Conservatives the majority that they wanted, a sign—or shrine—went up on the Highway 1 in the Fraser Valley: “Highway of Heroes.” It is a blatant and constant reminder of this government’s military priorities.

Our country, which is partly responsible for thousands of Afghanistan lives having been lost or crippled, is attempting to emulate the military mentality of its southern neighbour.

The irony in all of this is that Mennonites have been part of the constituency that has voted for this government! My dear Mennonite brothers and sisters: We have blood on our hands! It is now that we need to confess our sins—as we read in James—so we might be healed.

The government of Canada is selling out to the lowest common denominator. Instead of doubling the money that we donate to Mennonite Central Committee, the government has discontinued support that previous humanitarian leaders of Canada initiated. This government chooses, instead, to spend borrowed money on war and jails for Canadians. Essential Canadian programs, such as infrastructure, education and health remain underfunded. Canadian Mennonites need to learn from history to understand what military preparedness leads to.

To lead a fully integrated life, Mennonite cannot vote for a Conservative government and follow the Prince of Peace at the same time. “Chose ye this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve Jesus.”

Walter Quiring, Surrey, B.C.

House church thankful for generous support

Re: “Agape Fellowship on the rebound", April 2, page 15.

Since Agape Fellowship, London, Ont., is not funded by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, churches within the Stratford Cluster, including, Avon, Cassel, East Zorra, Nairn, Tavistock and Valleyview, along with St. Agatha, Zurich and Poole, play vital roles in keeping Agape operating. These churches give financial, encouragement and prayer support.

Valleyview Mennonite is a special sister-church to Agape. This sister donates garage sale items, books, retreat leadership, meals, food for special events, baking ingredients and community cupboard supplies, and provides pianists for special events and weekly transportation for Agape members to come to church, among other supports.

Valleyview also welcomes Agape participants to special worship services, picnics and retreats, and the Valleyview Male Chorus does fundraising concerts for Agape. Valleyview both covers the cost of Agape’s rent and makes a donation towards expenses each year. The members of Valleyview generously contribute to most of Agape’s fundraising events.

For Agape members, the Valleyview church building feels like home. It is a safe, welcoming place to worship, enjoy activities and gather with friends. Some Valleyview members have built friendships with Agape members.

What an amazing sister-church, landlord and support Valleyview is to Agape Fellowship. Agape Fellowship members extend our warmest gratitude and thank you to all who care about our community.

Lynne Williams, London, Ont.
Lynne Williams is pastor of Agape Fellowship.

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In response to Walter Quiring's article:

I'm not a big fan of the Conservatives either but I think you make some huge mistakes in your logic, brother. First of all, it was not the Conservatives that led Canada into Afghanistan. Secondly, the other political parties are not promoting Christian nonviolence as a foreign policy/strategy, and so by your own logic we can't rightly follow Christ and vote for any of the Canadian political parties. And thirdly, all the major Canadian political parties will take yours and my tax dollars and use it to senselessly kill unborn babies, even up to the final trimester of pregnancy. My brother, we live in Babylon... get used to the idea that our government leadership ignores Christ... it's only the beginning.

That said, let's speak creatively and critically to our elected officials, using also the tools of democracy (voting) to do so; but let us refrain from the generalizations about Christian voting practice that you suggest, unless you equally condemn voting for all parties because of this issue, you should not be so partisan in this case either.

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