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Readers write: July 24, 2017 issue

Jul 18, 2017 | Volume 21 Issue 15

Millennial wants to sing a variety of music in church
Re: “What music rankles you?” column, March 13, page 8.
I couldn’t agree with this article more. As a millennial teenager, I am mixed in with the generation of people who only like church if it’s like a concert. My opinion is that there should be a mixture of music in church every Sunday. We have to find a middle ground between hymns and contemporary music to help the church grow.

I have attended Mennonite churches all my life, so I have sung my fair share of hymns, and they’re not that bad. Sometimes they can be boring and long winded, and you don’t feel the Spirit’s presence all the time while singing them, but the words are so deep and meaningful. I definitely favour contemporary music, but I have nothing against hymns.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to like the same type of music. If we only play contemporary music, we could lose the elderly people in our church, which means that we would lose their experience and wisdom. But if we only play hymns, there is a chance that it could turn the next generation away from the church, and we want the church to grow. So I agree with Ryan Jantzi’s point that the music should bug us a little because we’re not always going to love the music.

For me, music is my favourite way to connect and worship God, and it’s so easy to lift your hands up to Christ when you’re listening to fast, upbeat songs. I want to challenge myself and others to focus more on the words and less on the type of music.

Caroline Rempel (online comment)

 

Church needs to be seen as ‘an inspirational instrument for change’
Re: “A big fan of Jesus . . . the church not so much,” June 5, page 4.
This feature was very insightful, and it struck me that much of what is being said about millennials were observations I made about Gen Xers when I served as student and young adult minister at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada from 1988 to 1992. There are some subtle distinctions, but economic struggle, disillusionment with the church and a search for meaning are similar themes.

The Anabaptist principle of believer’s baptism is both our strength and an Achilles heel for the Mennonite church. It demands commitment, but it means that some will not feel inspired to make the choice to join.

We are beyond the era of scaring our young people into faith with hell-fire sermons. But we have not been able to inspire young people to join the radical vision of a faith-filled life that engages issues of justice that many young people see as critical. Perhaps when more young people see that the Mennonite church is an inspirational instrument for change in our world and a source for spiritual growth, they will see the church as a place of belonging and hope.

It is heartening to see Canadian Mennonite involve young voices in the main feature and news, apart from the Young Voices section that feels to some like being seated at the “kid’s table” during a family dinner.

Fred W. Martin, Waterloo, Ont.

 

Salvation in Jesus alone
Re: “Ten things to know about Mennonites in Canada".
Today we need the clear gospel message. In all our deliberations about what various Mennonites believe, there needs to be a direct response that we all need Jesus (I Corinthians 3:11).

In order to become a child of God you must personally receive Jesus into your heart and life (John 1:12), confess your sin (I John 1:9), place your faith and trust in Jesus alone (John 14:6), ask him to cleanse you from sin by his blood shed on the cross (I John 1:7), surrender to his will as you obey all that he commanded in the Bible (Matthew 28:20), and be born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3,5).

This personal relationship with Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the only way to receive forgiveness for our sins and obtain eternal life in heaven (Acts 4:12). Without Jesus, each person is lost (Matthew 18:11, John 3:1-21).

As Menno Simons said, “We cannot obtain salvation, grace, reconciliation, nor peace of the Father otherwise than through Christ Jesus. As he himself says, no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Peter also says, there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, than the name of Jesus; and all those who accept this grace in Christ, preached by the gospel and accepted by a firm faith, and cordially adhered to by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith, become new men born of God” (from The Complete Writings of Menno Simons).

Ken Doell, Altona, Man.

 

Any congregation can partner with a Witness worker
Re: “Going further together,” July 3, page 4.
Thank you to Canadian Mennonite for this feature.

It’s important for readers to know, though, that supporting international ministry is not limited to partnerships between workers and their home congregations. Currently, 26 active Witness workers are in 52 congregational partnerships with 47 different congregations. Some churches have more than one partner, and most Witness workers have multiple church partners.

Congregations that are interested in exploring a partnership with an international Witness worker should contact Jason Martin by email at jmartin@mennonitechurch.ca, or call toll-free 1-866-888-6785.

Dan Dyck, Winnipeg

Dan Dyck is Mennonite Church Canada’s director of church engagement-communications.


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