10.5 C
Niagara Falls
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Letter to the editor: Mennonite church has changed and gays are welcome


Dear editor:

This is in response to the June 27 letter, “Mennonite church discriminates against gays and lesbians,” by John Boydell of St. Davids, who was commenting on the article, “The Mennonites’ long road to Virgil,” published on June 13.

I think John is tremendously disillusioned. There is no requirement to specify the inclusion or “mention of homosexuality” or gay/lesbian into the Mennonite church. It is an understood acceptableness.

Having said that, I have been a member of Niagara United Mennonite Church since 1983. I became a Sunday school teacher and youth adviser shortly thereafter.

In the early 1990s I was given grief by the ministers at the time at my Mennonite church. I was more or less blackmailed into giving up my positions because, you know, I was such a danger to the children and youth. 

I was told, “Give up your positions or we’ll bring it up in the church meeting” (this I didn’t want because I didn’t want to hurt my parents). Can you imagine? On a side note, those kids and young adults adored me – and so did their parents. Needless to say, I gave up my 10-year teaching position and youth advisory.

Several years later I discovered that the Mennonite Conference discussed and accepted and included gays and lesbians into the Menno community. My parents told me that. Yay for us.

After that, a new reverend (awesome guy) became our minister. His brother, who I used to hang out with in Toronto, is gay.

Since the Mennonite Conference, I’ve had no problem in my Mennonite church and have always been welcomed with open arms. I have brought my partner to many church functions, including Christmas and other holiday services, and weddings. The pastor was always very positive and always asked where my significant other was if I arrived alone.

Again, John Boydell, you have no idea what you are talking about unless you’ve actually set foot in our church. Yes, I had hardships, but they are long gone.

Abhor all you want, John Boydell, maybe you should research a little more about the Mennonite community in your area instead of relying on Wikipedia.


Elly Teichgraf

Bancroft, Ont.

Subscribe to our mailing list