Viewpoints

Readers write

Former MCC director laments ‘big failure’ of Wineskins process

Re: “MCC ‘divorce’ a cause for confession, remorse,” March 21, page 12.

I, too, am saddened and indeed angered with the result of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Wineskins process.

On the road to Emmaus

Elsie Rempel ponders the small opening to a first-century tomb that may be similar to the one Jesus was buried in.

In Luke 24, the disciples on the road to Emmaus were confused and discouraged. They had trouble recognizing Jesus.

In March of last year, I was a disciple on the road to Emmaus as part of a learning tour in the Holy Land. I was also confused and discouraged by the complexities of the deep fear, pain and suffering that is the story of this land and its peoples.

What could he mean?

‘Resurrection of the Christ and the Women at the Tomb’ by Fra Angelico, circa mid-15th century.

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid” (Mark 16:8).

Fleeing death

Forty years ago this June, I fled from death. The day before the annual Sunday school picnic, my grandfather died of a heart attack. I was almost 10 years old.

Joyful generosity

In his book Will Our Children Have Faith?, John Westerhoff argues that for future generations of young people and adults to develop Christian faith they will need more than Sunday school. They’ll need a host of opportunities where faith is not only taught but experienced.

Keeping vigil

Our recent journey began in darkness, continued through a day and into more darkness—a winter drive of 28 hours on roads that were at first snowy, then drenched with rain. We had received the call the day before: “Fluid on her lungs . . . palliative care . . . keep her comfortable . . . morphine . . . just a few days left.” My husband’s mother was dying.

‘And yet . . .’

I can best write about my hopes and dreams for the future of the church by reflecting on the past. During the last 29 years of pastoral ministry I have experienced growth, turmoil, grace, struggle, surprise, conflict and peace in the church. To each one of those words I can attach stories of God breaking into my life, and into the corporate life of the body of Christ.

Deliverance from somewhere else

The story of Esther is stunning in its providential beauty and hope. Despite God never being named, the book bearing a Jewish Persian Queen’s Gentile name—a wonderful twist of biblical irony—is received as Scripture, as God’s very speech. Esther is God doing sign language. God writes himself out of the story, but not out of history. The I AM receives no cameo.

Are you ready?

On Aug. 13, 2010, after one month in the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alta., my dad died of mesotheliomameso, cancer of the outer lining of the lung. Although Dad had experienced shortness of breath for the past year, it never stopped him from maintaining a busy social and family life. He even attended a Calgary Stampede breakfast the day he entered the hospital.

My mother’s couch

Waking from a nap on my mother’s couch, I stretch and think, “What a blessing.” My mother’s couch is a perfect spot for napping: generously long, wonderfully comfortable and cozily firm. It’s also lovely to look at, with a flowered fabric of rose and blue trimmed by light oak wood.

Readers Write

Celebrate the ‘kitchenhood of all believers’

Re: “East paska together and be glad,” Feb. 21, page 10.

The church that I attend invites all ethnicities. We share our stories. Even though the potluck tables are still heavily Russian-Ukraine-oriented, this is changing as our own cultural fabric evolves. This is how it should be.

Why give?

In early December, The Globe and Mail reported that the number of Canadians making charitable donations has dropped, the average age of donors has risen to 53, and the total amount donated to charity has fallen in the last two years. Shortly after this, it ran a series on the future of faith in Canada, concluding that Canada is quickly becoming a secular nation.

New world metaphors

Human ingenuity cranks out things that are windows into the heart of the age. Our technological dreamworks become tools of convenience, toys of amusement, gadgets of annoyance, and objects of idolatry. Since Babel, every epoch has had its technological metaphor. The great tower of Genesis 11 betrayed humanity’s cultural self-understanding.

The changing look of ‘peace’

Maria Krause, back row right, is spending a year working for MCC in Lusaka, Zambia, with the Millennium School Peace Club. Issa Sadi Ebombolo, front row right, is a Peace Clubs founder.

As a Mennonite, peace is a part of my everyday vocabulary.

I know it is a good thing—Jesus is the Prince of Peace after all—and I know that peace is found in right relationships, justice and grace. But what does peace look like, exactly?

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