Healing and rebuilding happening under Isaaks’ leadership

Re: “From a closed community to an open heart,” March 7, page 4.

First Mennonite Church, Burns Lake, is fortunate to have the leadership of Eve Isaak and her husband Helmut, an Anabaptist-Mennonite history professor, to take our core group of believers to new levels of spiritual growth after a decade of division that saw our membership decrease by some 70 percent. As a first priority, healing and rebuilding needs to happen and we are confident that the Isaaks’ leadership will bring this about in a positive manner.

Despite the division, our 56-year-old congregation has been blessed over this time, encouraging and developing more than 25 current and former pastors and missionaries. Its participation in Ootsa Lake Bible Camp, the Church of the Way in Granisle, B.C., the Burns Lake Christian Supportive Care Society, the youth drop-in-centre and evening Bible studies, all attest to a strong commitment to evangelism and community ministry. We are in covenant with Mennonite Church B.C. and will remain so.

The path to new growth will not be easy. Pastoral leaders who left this congregation, taking whole families with them, continue to be active in our small community. Not sympathetic to an Anabaptist theology and practice, they have based their differences on what they perceive are erroneous models of the emergent church, such as contemplative prayer and prayer labyrinths. Their reasons for leaving centred on such misunderstood issues as thinking MC Canada and MC B.C. did not take a strong enough stand on homosexuality a few years ago when that issue was aired in articles in Canadian Mennonite.

All this has led to much confusion, but God is faithful and has given us leaders with a clear vision and compassionate hearts. We have covenanted together as a church family “to reach, influence, teach, nurture and integrate all people into fellowship with Jesus Christ and each other through personal relationships, group fellowships, service and corporate worship.”

Wilf Dueck, Burns Lake, B.C.
Wilf Dueck is the congregational chair of First Mennonite Church, Burns Lake.

Bible teaches against women in ministry

Re: “Women in ministry” feature, March 7, pages 4 to 10. In the second “For discussion” question on page 10, you ask if women’s works are different than men’s.

I would like each one to read I Timothy 2:9-15 and also I Corinthians 14:34-37, where women are told not to teach, nor to usurp authority over men in church. In I Corinthians 14:37, Paul says this is the Lord’s commandment.

The women who are pastors have gone through Bible school. I wish they would write to Canadian Mennonite and tell us how they get around these verses.

Peter Rempel, Rosthern, Sask.