Category Archives: A Reader’s Viewpoint

Do We Need Another Hero?

By Stephanie Unger

Fifteen years after buying an 11-bedroom rooming house in Winnipeg’s Spence neighbourhood, Stephanie, her husband Travis and their kids, Shadrach and Rachel, embarked on a sabbatical. They left Winnipeg, towing their sailboat Schemma down south, and splashed her into the Gulf of Mexico to sail around Florida, across to the Bahamas and managed to return six months later. For details, check out This is the third of a series of four articles.

Long days at sea provide lots of time to read. I really love a good story and have been introduced to the world of young adult dystopian novels. This genre of fiction is filled with amazingly gifted, mature teenagers who, through their courage, sacrifice and prowess, save the world. A similar storyline, popular on the big screen these days, is that of the superhero. Young adults find themselves suddenly endowed with unusual ability and are thrown into an epic life-threatening adventure during which they must choose whether to use their power for good or evil. Continue reading Do We Need Another Hero?

In the Stillness

By Les Martens

Though we just might think that the righteous win, if we keep the rules and we do not sin, the plain truth is that the best man died even though he prayed, he pleaded, and cried, “Father let this pass help me end this pain.” But the silence stayed and the curse remained. In the garden bound, by the high priest tried, he was kissed, betrayed, left alone, denied.  Continue reading In the Stillness

Awe-Full: Remembering a Catholic Service from 29 Years Ago

By Rod Friesen

As I worked this morning (drywall taper), I had a question on my mind. Or, to sound more spiritual, it was on my heart.

Am I Awe-Full? As in, am I full of a sense of reverence and awe? My mind, as I worked, was questioning the word awful, and I was confused as to its origin and how it came to mean, in common use, something terrible. That is a bit off track, but it led me to this place: Do I live in a sense of reverence of our Creator and Sustainer? Continue reading Awe-Full: Remembering a Catholic Service from 29 Years Ago

I am Ambivalent About the EMC

By Josh Friesen

Writing this article makes me torn. I can certainly agree with some of the things Mr. Brandt mentioned in his article [March 2019] about his joy of being an EMCer—the diversity of culture and language represented both at a congregational level and now more recently at a pastoral level. I do have a few thorns in my side that I’m trying to decide if they’re a good thing or a bad thing. Continue reading I am Ambivalent About the EMC

Adam Harris: Go And Do Likewise

by Adam Harris

Love one another. This is the command Jesus gave throughout the gospels. Jesus modeled how to love others and as followers of Christ. We should do the same. Jesus stated love for one another as a part of the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:39). Loving others is what marks the life of a true disciple of Christ.

Love For God, Love For Others

You will notice that I did not touch on the first part of the greatest commandment: To love God (Matt. 22:37-38). That is because I wanted to expand on that a bit more. Love for God is essential if we truly want to love others. God has loved us with an everlasting love. He sent His one and only Son to die for us (John 3:16). His one and only! If that doesn’t show the magnitude of God’s love for us I don’t know what else does.

If I had an only son and had to give him up for the lives of total strangers I don’t think I could do that. Because He loved us so much we should in turn love and devote ourselves to Him. Our devotion to God is evident in our love for others.

Both loving God and loving others are interchangeable. When we love God we will love others; and when we love others will love God because God loves people. God’s love for people was evident when He sent His Son to die for our sins, and He calls us to follow His example of love (1 John 4:9-11).

How Do We Love? Whom Do We Love?

Jesus’ command to love others means essentially that we should look out for the needs of others. Look out for their needs as we would look out for our own. We should love our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus was asked by an expert in religious law, “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). That’s a good question. How do we know whom we should love?

Jesus answers the man’s question in the following verses by telling The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). On his way from Jerusalem to Jericho a man was attacked by bandits. He was left for dead. People passed him by, a priest and a Levite, a temple assistant. None of them decided to help the man.

Only a “despised” Samaritan felt compassion for him enough to help him. The Scripture doesn’t say the injured man was Jewish. Perhaps that’s part of Jesus’ point: this man could be anyone and he should be helped.

If the injured man was Jewish, the same point is made. Samaritans and Jews in biblical times did not get along. They were at opposite ends of the spectrum and did not associate with one another. But this Samaritan did not think twice.

Adam Harris

The Samaritan bandaged the man’s wounds, took the man to an inn on his own donkey, and offered to pay the bill for his stay. The one who was despised—the one from whom he would never imagined getting help—was the one who helped the man when no one else would.

When you wonder whom you should love and how we should love, look back on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. And go and do likewise.

Adam Harris, a certificate graduate of Steinbach Bible College, is connected with Braeside EMC. He lives in Winnipeg.

Dave Harms: A Story of Entering Pastoral Ministry

by Rev. Dave Harms

I attended Steinbach Bible Institute (now College) in the winters of 1956 to 1958. I graduated in 1958 with a three-year diploma.

In 1960 the Rosenort EMC ministerial needed one more minister to fill the pulpits on Sunday mornings since the group was already ministering in a number of locales. They decided to have a vote in February to elect a minister by ballot.

When the ballots were counted, it was nearly a tie. The brotherhood decided to accept two ministers. This was how I was elected to be a minister.

Not long after this election, the chairman of the Rosenort Missions Committee asked whether Katie and I would consider helping with the church plant in Roseisle. After praying about it and trying to determine God’s will, we said yes.

I, of course, had to be ordained to preach. The date of March 15, 1960, was set for the ordination. That was the first Sunday I was sent to Roseisle to teach the Sunday School class and preach my first message there. I hurried home to take in my ordination service.

After six years I resigned. Katie and I moved to Blumenort. I took two Grade 11 classes at Steinbach Christian High School in the morning; in the afternoons I was an orderly at the Rest Haven Nursing Home in Steinbach.

Before the year was up, leaders from the Roseisle EMC paid us a visit and asked us to come back to serve as pastor again. After praying about it, we decided to go back. We served there for eleven more years. Much credit must go to my brother Henry, who helped with work, a house, and meat in the freezer.

I don’t recall how much the Rosenort Missions Committee paid us for the first five months in 1960, but after a while the Roseisle people started giving me $25 per month for gas. Back then there was no Conference Pastor. There was no sabbatical. There was no salary schedule.

During my time, I was mostly or partly self-supporting. I worked four days a week in house moving with my brother Henry. A couple of years I drove a school bus, and I served as an orderly occasionally at a nursing home in Carmen and at the hospital in Morden. For the final two years of my service at Roseisle, I received $250 per month from the church.

How did I manage to do this? The Lord was with us, and we did with less than people do today. Times were not easy for many people back then, not just for a pastor and his family.

After I left, the position has been mostly full-time, a salary has been provided within the EMC scale, and a house has been provided as a manse.

Katie got sick and passed away before I resigned from the pastorate in 1978. I was burned out.

The Lord was good to me, and I met Fran. We were married seven months after.

We stayed in Roseisle one more year, but not as pastor. I worked again for my brother Henry for that year. We then decided that I would take a two-year refresher course at SBC. Fran got a job as the Dean of Women. She had good experience for it, having served as Dean of Women at Bethany Bible Institute. In 1982 I graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Studies.

When the two years of studies were up, we went to Camp Arnes for four years. Then I came to Rest Haven Nursing Home in Steinbach, for the first five years as a chaplain/maintenance person and then eight years as a chaplain only. Fran went back to serve as a librarian and a secretary at Steinbach Christian High School.

Fran and I were part of committee that started Stony Brook Fellowship. I have been recognized as a minister in SBF, but am now retired.