Owning our choices

May 11, 2015 by

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Don Patterson (Letters & Comments, April 13) writes that his congregation, Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church of Kalona, Iowa, is being “forced out” of Mennonite Church USA. That sounds a little disingenuous and passive-aggressive. No one is forcing any congregation to leave or remain in the denomination. Such choices are being made at the local level and must be owned by each congregation and leader. Patterson also writes that the Constituency Leaders Council “has failed the church.” Strong words. These brothers and sisters of ours are in a hard place, and to say they have failed is a harsh and divisive statement. I may not agree with an action by the CLC, but that does not necessarily connote their failure. Maybe I’m the one who is wrong. Maybe I have failed in my evaluation of them. Does Stephen Kriss, in “Refusing to Fight the Culture War” (April 13), have instructive words for MC USA at this time? He suggests that “the answer is not to fight the war.” Then he quotes Gilberto Flores: “You don’t get up from the table in the middle of a family fight.” While these may sound like opposing ideas, both have application for us. Whatever decisions are discerned in Kansas City, I hope Lower Deer Creek remains at the MC USA table. Their voice, too, is needed.

Ruben Chupp
Nappanee, Ind.

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