Wednesday is the day for the noontime men’s fellowship. We invited lead pastor Phil Waite of the College Mennonite Church to address us. He chose to speak on the subject “Is the church safe for men?” The tables were filled with old men and two brave women. (When I told best friend about the topic she laughed heartily. She said she had heard concerns for women and children, but never for men. She wants a report.)
Pastor Phil came armed with information about the declining role of men in the church. Not so much for old men, because it seems quite natural for women to outlive men, so there are more old women than old men. The concern was for young men The information he brought was not simply about the decline of young men in the Mennonite Church, but in the Christian church in general.
This is a legitimate concern, and Phil did not come to the meeting with answers. He simply wanted to enlist the help of us old men to resolve a problem. It appeared to me that he had made a successful presentation since the men formed clusters after the meeting ended to continue puzzling over the dilemma.
As for me, my old brain spun in several directions as I tried to follow Phil. So I am trying to get a recording of the morning, and so be able to engage the issue more intelligently. I am concerned that nothing that is used to challenge men to stay with the church should put women at a disadvantage.
I came home this evening to see the front page article in the Mennonite World Review that declared that Mennonite Girls Keep on Cooking. Is that a sign that Mennonite women are safe in the kitchen?