Executive Director’s Letter regarding protests in Aylmer, ON

Abe Harms sent the following Letter to the Editor of the Aylmer Express. It was published in the November 4, 2020 edition of the Aylmer Express:

“When I first heard about the “Freedom Rally” in Aylmer on October 24, I was curious what it was about. I was saddened to learn that it was a protest against rules intended to keep us safe in a global pandemic. Rules that might presumably be a slight infringement on “our rights”. I was further saddened that Mennonite and Low German-speaking populations in our community are branded as rule-flaunting people that would force others to shop outside of town.

That is not the theology or philosophy that we grew up with or what Mennonite Community Services espouses. MCS adheres to Southwestern Public Health rules and is committed to the laws of Canada and Ontario. We have high regard for authorities and agree with St. Paul (Phil 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value other above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.)

I believe that the assumption that the church is in danger of disappearing for the lack of one gathering a week shows a lack of understanding of the Scripture or history. The Meserete Kristos Church (an Ethiopian Mennonite church) in 1982 counted 5,000 members when the government closed all churches. When in 1991 they were able to meet again they had grown to 32,000.

There has never been a better time in history for this pandemic than now. We have such a good medical system and the best communications system ever. We might be by ourselves but we don’t need to be alone.”

Abe Harms

E.D. of MCS

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