Readers write: January 7, 2019 issue

December 31, 2018 | Opinion | Volume 23 Issue 1
Various Contributors |

‘There needs to be understanding’
Re: “Worship happened,” Nov. 5, 2018, page 8.

Ed Olfert’s column left me in tears.

I facilitate many Kairos blanket exercises, where I act out the part of the “grandmother.” Chi miigwech (thank you) for doing this in your church group! It is my hope that more churches will do this exercise. I often say in the “talking circle” that follows, that until we make friends with our past, we cannot live in a good way in the present and cannot walk into the future together. There is no blame, but there needs to be understanding. We cannot undo the past but we can change the present and teach our young ones the truth, because they are the future.

—Mim Harder, Uxbridge, Ont.

CM: A recipe for life-giving bread
Re: Nov. 26, 2018 issue.

It is heartening to read of some faith-generated activities, looking to a future which is being built on a foundation, already in place, while continuing construction on it, in a context of being but a small part of the much larger structure of humanity on the way.

The conclusion of a series of heart-rending reflections, with its near disparaging, compassionate admonishments (“Modern ghosts of a horse-drawn scandal, Pt. IV,” page, 18), and reports of hopeful ministry, completed after eight years (“Mennonite Church Canada thanks Willard Metzger,” page 29), now embraced by a soon-to-be new nationwide minister (“A deep love for the church,” page 28), is a recipe mix not readily recognized as contiguous with life-giving bread—yet it has been that, in my reading. 

I wonder what the actual difficulties must be when bombarded from all sorts of angles by individuals, identifiable groups, sojourners on the face of this planet, and impoverished, disempowered people in a context of perpetuated injustice or misguided judgement of people whose names often are listed in Christian church rolls who are seen to be embracing the doctrine of peace and justice, which is largely focused on oneself. 

Is the experienced plight of the ignored, the different or the misjudged any different than that of the one described in a parable by Jesus? That person was lying in the ditch, left for dead, while the recognizable righteous, brilliant-minded leaders of religious society walked on by, while the despised, considered to be unclean and unrighteous, manifested neighbourly presence and became salvific medicine with hope for a future. It would be easy to see the self-help dynamic of the disenfranchised helping the disadvantaged, but is that the meaning to be drawn? 

A conundrum surely worthy of consideration and less than quick reflection, as we seek to live not only in peace but by peace. 

—Clare Neufeld, French Creek, B.C.

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