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.