Readers write: March 7, 2022 issue

March 2, 2022 | Opinion | Volume 26 Issue 5
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Thank you for sharing Janzen tribute
Simple wonder, peculiar generosity,” Jan. 24, page 4.

I recall meeting Annie Janzen for the first time at an event hosted at/by Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg in the late ’60s or early ’70s.

She struck me immediately as someone who was at once dedicated to simplicity, and complexly direct with a responsive smile (or was that a smirk?) in response to a “stranger” before her.

She seemed to be focused on serving the best food and offering the most relaxed yet purpose-driven space for guests at the cafeteria, that one felt her hand in the ambience as well.

She was humble to a fault and vigorous in her response to life, and I gained an appreciation for her persona over the coming years. When time came for her to retire, I felt a personal sense of significant change, having been foisted on community life where she was an icon.

What a life to have lived, to honour, and by which to have been touched.
—Clare Neufeld (online comment)


Non-vaccinated Mennonite loves her neighbours in her own ways
No religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines: MC Canada,” Oct. 25,, 2021, page 25, and John Konrad’s “Reader thankful for MC Canada leaders’ stand against vaccine exemptions” letter, Jan. 10, page 7.

As an unvaccinated COVID-19 Mennonite, I am, according to Mennonite Church Canada’s executive ministers, not following God’s command to love my neighbour. Also, according to Konrad’s letter, I am apparently an embarrassment to my fellow Christians, as he writes: “the prevalence of strident ‘anti-vaxxers’ in Christian communities is embarrassing, to say the least, and harmful to Christian witness.”

Certainly, the seriousness of COVID-19 cannot be taken lightly. It has been horrific for many Canadians and folks worldwide.

I am not anti-vax at all, and I wear a mask, social distance and hand sanitize. But I am against the “you must or else” measures.

As a follower of Jesus, I cannot agree with the MC Canada ministers’ statement, but I will continue to love my neighbours by loving my family, friends and community in these ways and more:

  • Shopping for neighbours so frightened by media spin that they dare not leave their homes for fear of catching COVID-19 and certain death.
  • Listening to and supporting folks depressed by isolation, and those whose family members die alone and are not allowed a proper funeral.
  • Paying attention to school kids traumatized about catching and bringing COVID-19 home that may kill their grandparents.
  • Supporting folks who, because of medical mandates, lost jobs and fear losing their homes and pensions.
  • Praying for three friends who followed the government vaccine guidelines and are now dealing with side effects of myocarditis.*

Jesus loved his neighbours, instead of following Roman rule.
—Dianne Kruithof, Larder Lake, Ont.
The writer attends Hunta (Ont.) Mennonite Church.

* To learn more about myocarditis/pericarditis and COVID-19 from the Government of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization, visit



Seniors care home praised for its pandemic parameters
Pandemic parameters during the fifth wave,” Feb. 7, page 24,

Thank you so much for this story. When COVID-19 restrictions permitted, I’ve had the opportunity to visit friends from my church who live at Vineland United Mennonite Home.

The care is amazing. Simply amazing. Staff are so respectful. The chaplain is very kind. There are many activities. The home is cheery and clean. Thank you all very much.
—Jan Carrie Steven, St. Catharines, Ont.
The writer is the volunteer community chaplain of Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines.


Letter writer ‘shouldn’t define all men as perpetrators’
Hedie L. Epp letter, Feb. 7, page 7, in response to “A survivor of sexual abuse speaks out,” Jan. 10, page 13.

I read this comment with great interest. The principal theme of this comment points to a very troubling crisis within society, including the faith community. I agree that anyone who abuses another person should be held accountable, and that support must be available to all victims.

I personally know several victims of abuse, and the damage is horrible and life altering.

The generalization of this comment is what concerned me, though, because I am a man. I agree that a high percentage of perpetrators are men, but that shouldn’t define all men as perpetrators. In fact, many men work tirelessly to prevent perpetrators from striking again and are as angry as you might be with abuse of women.

Yes, let’s work together to prevent abuse in the future!
—Ed Sider (online comment)


Reader says his Bible has no feminine references to God or Holy Spirit
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes” column, Jan. 10, 2022.

I would like to have Troy Watson give Scripture references where the Holy Spirit or God are ever referred to in the feminine gender. My Bible has no such references.
—Dick Hildebrandt, Campbell River, B.C.

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Share this page: Twitter Instagram


"Reader says his Bible has no feminine references to God" This is from reader Dick Hildebrant.
I have at least nine different versions of the Bible on my bookshelves (and countless more on my phone) and in none of them can I get past the first page of the first chapter of the first book without coming across Humanity being defined as created in God's image. And what is God's image? "Male and female created he them." [Gen 1:27] Both genders are required to represent the image of God. Can't get much clearer than that. Feel free to refer to God as a "he" for convenience, but recognize the limitations of human language. Almighty God is masculine and feminine in all his divine boundless and eternal love. At least that's what my Bible tells me.

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.