Reply All, November 2020

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Denomination Restructuring

It was my opportunity to be in meetings where the governance and administrative structure of World Renew was conceived in 1989-90. … Our intent was to have a structure that honored the tax and charitable laws of our respective countries. Our vision was a stronger development agency because it was binational (and) could tap into both country’s gifts, resources, and ministry perspectives so that dark and impoverished communities worldwide would know and experience the gospel. It demanded collaboration, cooperation, teamwork, and a healthy dose of servant leadership. The fact that this structure exists 30 years later at World Renew attests to this model’s sustainability and effectiveness. I applaud the work of our Council of Delegates (“Governance Restructuring Gives CRCNA in Canada More Ministry Control,” Mar. 2020) and feel very positive about the restructuring the denomination is proposing given that it is drawing on World Renew's experiences. At no time did we envision two separate national agencies, and I know that World Renew is a stronger more effective agency as a binational body.

Ray Elgersma // Ottawa, Ont.

Ambiguous Loss

I have never written to The Banner despite reading it for over 15 years and truly enjoying many articles. However, I needed to write to say thank you to Gayla Postma for her article on ambiguous loss (“A Death Without a Funeral,” July/August 2020). Her raw honesty was refreshing and heartfelt. She admits that she doesn't know the answers but she is doing her best, and isn't that the most any of us can expect or hope for? Thank you for being brave enough to write this and share your story. You are correct, an ambiguous healing is enough.

Kelly Bossenbroek Fedoriw // Pittsboro, N.C.

Wild Tails

Thank you for the article in the March (2020) issue of The Banner titled “Wild Tails,” by Rachel Lancashire. It was used at our sing-along devotional time at the Memory Care / Christian Homestead in Waupun, Wisc. The residents responded well with memories of wild tails.

Junice R. Rens // Waupun, Wisc.

Divisive Times

The latest issue of The Banner led its cover with the headline “Christian Love in Divisive Times” (Sept. 2020). I take issue with the word “divisive.” I would suggest that the word “disruptive” is more accurate. … Now is not the moment for moderating between sides as though all “tribes” are somehow equally in the wrong. “Tribes” that are asking that Black and brown bodies be valued or that ask for equal rights under the law for the LGBTQ community or for inclusive immigration policy should not be labeled as divisive or contributing to divisiveness. They are arguing and causing disruption for the sake of diversity, equality, and inclusion—not exclusion or division. Conversely, “tribes” advocating for women’s voices to not be heard at a conference or who are asking for walls to be built to exclude the “dangerous foreigner” are in fact advancing division. The two “tribes” are not on equal ground. On issues of inclusion, one is more formally rooted in Christian values than the other.

Lance Kraai // Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Christian Love in Divisive Times” made me glad that there are young people who are thinking. As an older, liberal-minded person I applaud the two essays in The Banner. We should see through our white supremacist attitudes to see the Black, Native American, and Latinx people who try to live by documents that did not include them. I am writing as an American when I say this about our Constitution and other documents that tried sincerely to not see people of color and women. So I am happy to see that some young people see with eyes radiating with the love of Jesus that they gained from the Scriptures.

Pam Adams // Sioux Center, Iowa

Walking Well

The June Banner included a remarkably thoughtful, insightful, compassionate, and caring article by Laurie Krieg on “How to Walk Well Alongside LGBTQ+ People.” It was clearly born out of her experience of doing just that in a biblically faithful manner. One would have expected an outpouring of affirmation. Instead readers of the September Banner were treated to two lengthy letters by respected CRC leaders denouncing the article. There is no doubt that, as both letter writers point out, members of the LGBTQ+ community have suffered rejection and abuse from the church as well as (from) society at large. For this we need to repent. But it does not mean we must fail to lovingly call to repentance fellow sinners like those of whom Paul said, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

Cameron Fraser // Lethbridge, Alta.

Individualism

As the election campaigns gather steam, passions warm, (and) protests and counter-protests increase, I am reminded of “The Heresy of Individualism” (May 2020). That is a message for our time. We are not our own. Today, too much political talk is about protecting freedom, and the government is portrayed as the enemy of freedom. Good government is not the enemy of freedom; it is its guarantee. Talk about social distancing and mask-wearing being infringements of individual rights, (or) government taxation, social programs, (and) rules and regulations burdens to be liberated from—all such talk should not be heard among followers of Jesus, because such provisions are among the instruments by which, in an interconnected age, we are our brother’s keeper.

Nick Loenen // Richmond, B.C.

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