Letters, May 26


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Approach Christian lessons in schools with caution We need to exercise caution with requests such as those from the Child Evangelism Fellowship to offer Christian lessons as an opt-in within public schools’ weekly daytime schedule.

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Approach Christian lessons in schools with caution

We need to exercise caution with requests such as those from the Child Evangelism Fellowship to offer Christian lessons as an opt-in within public schools’ weekly daytime schedule.

Faith development belongs with parents, grandparents and religious institutions, not with the public schools.

While public school lessons about diverse world religions are appropriate to help us understand and respect our differences, there is no place in our public schools for organizations that seek to convert children. The very name “Child Evangelism Fellowship” reveals its proselytizing purpose: “to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of Christ.” Its mandate is to reach “every child, every nation, every day.”

We must respect, not convert, those of other faith traditions. By all means, let us learn about each other’s faith. Respectful interfaith dialogue works best when we come with open hearts, willing to be transformed by what we learn. Not to be converted, nor to convert, but to allow our own faith to be deepened and our lives changed as we seek to live out of the compassionate hearts of our respective faiths.

Ironically, it is the very charge of proselytization that some are making about LGBTTQ+ and Two-Spirit books in school libraries. The intent of these books is not to proselytize, but to provide age-appropriate support to children who may live with two moms, two dads or gender-fluid family members and to youth who may be struggling with their own sexual orientation or gender identity. Suicide rates for LGBTTQ+ and Two-Spirit youth remain higher than for other youth. These books help to keep our children and youth from self-hate and self-harm. They help to acknowledge and respect our diversity.

At no point did Jesus try to convert people to a different faith. Rather, he helped them live more deeply into their own faith, whether that be Jewish or Samaritan. What he did try to transform was the way in which people treated each other.

His way of truth and life was one of justice, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and love, to which he called everyone to follow. It is the best way that I know to respect our diversity of faith, culture, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd

Westworth United Church


Unintended irony

Re: Outpouring of support encouraging (Letters, May 25)

Maybe it wasn’t intended as ironic, but the May 25 letter from Rene Jamieson certainly was that. While arguing that no books should be banned from schools, it was also stated that voluntary groups operating outside of class hours should not be allowed.

Sounds a lot like banning to me. Interesting that we need to have a free exchange of ideas, except the ones we disagree with.

Chuck Penner


Movement to preserve nature encouraging

Conservation is a nature-based solution to climate change that can result in increased climate resilience. By protecting and expanding natural systems, we can capture more carbon as well as ensure we maintain our biodiversity and provide much needed habitat for wildlife.

I am excited about the global movement to protect at least 30 per cent of our planet’s ecosystems by 2030. We need to work with nature instead of destroying it. Conservation and restoration are practical ways to help ensure that we have a world where both people and the planet thrive.

Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan states that Manitoba has a vision of being Canada’s cleanest, greenest and most climate resilient province. I firmly believe that if Manitoba is serious about their goal they must commit to the “30 x 30” target and take a leading role in this global movement, protecting 30 per cent of our province’s land and waters by the same deadline.

I understand that industries such as mining, peat harvesting, and logging play a role in our economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to our prosperity. However, without a healthy planet and maintained biodiversity, climate change will continue to have devastating effects on our communities and our economy. We are already experiencing this with increased wildfires and flooding. But we can strike a balance between industry and conservation, which will allow both to thrive while increasing our climate resilience.

Protecting 30 per cent of Manitoba’s land means designating areas for conservation, restoration, and sustainable economic use. By doing so, we can preserve critical habitats, safeguard biodiversity, mitigate climate change, and secure the well-being of present and future generations.

I ask all our provincial political parties to champion this cause and join the call for the goal of conserving 30 per cent of Manitoba’s lands and waters by 2030. I encourage other Manitobans to also help raise awareness among their families and friends about the importance of nature conservation and its far-reaching benefits for our province, and to reach out to political leaders to urge their support.

Let us be the catalysts for change, inspiring others to take up this charge and save nature. Together, we can create a sustainable future where nature and humanity thrive.

Tracy Hucul


Celebrating nurses

Over the past three years we have experienced daily reports reflecting the status of the pandemic, and the seemingly unending circumstances and often tragic consequences it has wrought.

Concurrent has been reporting of the various responses within the healthcare system and resultant stressors on individuals within that system, not the least of whom are the nurses, a traditionally female-dominated profession which is often overlooked and, in some opinions, under-valued. Through their commitment and dedication throughout this period the critical roles of nurses have become front and centre.

This week, over 600 nurses from across North America, members of the nurses’ alumni of the Winnipeg General Hospital/Health Sciences Centre School of Nursing, will attend their annual general meeting and homecoming here in Winnipeg.

They will be updated on the alumni’s ongoing business, philanthropic efforts, support to nursing education, and the preservation of nursing and medical history through the world-renowned archives housed at the HSC. Equally important, they will also celebrate the 110-year history of the WGH/HSC School of Nursing as it was, and the collegiality and enduring friendships formed during their training.

Whether their careers were in providing primary, emergency or intensive care, as clinicians, public health nurses, educators, researchers, nurse practitioners, or administrators; whether they have achieved academic success beyond their Registered Nurse diplomas, or success in unrelated fields, one is always struck by the pride and humility they demonstrate in response to the question: “What do you do?” invariably the response is simply “I’m a nurse!”

Dedication, pride and humility indeed!

Ian A Hamelin



Updated on Friday, May 26, 2023 8:16 AM CDT: Adds links, adds tile photo

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