As Mennonites living in the peace and prosperity of Canada, we sometimes wonder how to keep the stories of our past alive. We wonder whether our children and grandchildren will know about the hardships and suffering of an earlier generation.
“So you want to kill some Nazis?” Dr. Erskine asks the short, skinny asthmatic wanna-be war hero in this summer’s big superhero film. “I don’t want to kill anyone,” comes the reply. “I just don’t like bullies.” Somehow this convinces Erskine that the young man, whose name is Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), is a good, compassionate person.
“The sad thing is, the churches are too quiet,” says Kyong-Jung Kim, director of the Korea Anabaptist Center, in Seoul, South Korea. “Either they don’t pay attention to this or they don’t want to step on boundaries that are not welcome by government.”
At the general meeting of the members of L’Église évangélique Mennonite de Joliette, Que., on June 12, the pastor’s mandate was not renewed. The congregation was shocked and surprised, but members feel now that God knew what was coming.
A common interaction at our house goes something like this. Person One says (with some heat): “You’re so stubborn!” Person Two then replies (with some indignation): “I am not stubborn. I’m principled. I’m determined. I’m firm and have integrity of opinion.”
South of the border, there was lots of attention again this year around Sept. 11, especially given that it was the 10th anniversary of those terrible events. That it happened to fall on a Sunday made me think of offering a voice of lament, confession and a call for nonviolent peacemaking.
1. How are the songs and music chosen in your congregation? How much thought is given to the words when songs are chosen? Do you agree that we focus on the style of music more than the words we sing? What might help us focus on the words?
"Let me write the songs of a nation. I don’t care who writes its laws.”
This statement attributed to 17th-century Scottish politician Andrew Fletcher about countries also applies to the church. Christians have long recognized the power of music to shape what we believe about God and the life of faith.