I appreciated Gene Heinrich’s article [“Everyone Knows One,” December 2016] for its lack of “you,” “they” and flagellation of church members. Yes, each is responsible for their own choices, and selfishness is the bottom line in most decisions for exiting — and, as he observed, in those staying. Yet I suggest that the latter is a common contributing factor in many leaving. They don’t see, nor are bringing, the selfless love empowering, lifting, lighting the church. Thus the hearts of the young are not drawn to a passionate purpose — the fodder of the young. We all need to selflessly arise and shine for the light — our light — has come.
G.R. Wilson, Dallas, Ore.
My roots "sprouted" in Idaho a long time ago; my favorite union paper is still the Gleaner. I am blessed to have a friend pass her copies to me. To one who lives under the "coercive policies" cloud, Martin Weber's December 2016 "And on Earth Peace" was especially appreciated. Real peace in our lives, the church or the world is the fruit of an uncompromising, ongoing surrender to the truth as it is in Jesus whatever the subject. God is pouring out His Spirit, and over 120 years ago Ellen White warned leadership that "… rules are being made at the centers of the work that will soon be broken into atoms … many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ" (Review & Herald, July 23, 1895). Have we forgotton that Jesus ignored man-made rules? It is critical to be guided by inspired words such as these: "Honesty and policy will not harmonize; either policy will be subdued, and truth and honesty hold the lines of control, or policy will take the lines, and honesty cease to direct. Both cannot act together; they can never be in agreement. When God makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest, will be His chosen ones, His treasures. Angels are preparing crowns for such ..." (3 Bible Commentary, p. 1159). Compulsive or coercive policies are not part of His kingdom.
Esther McCluskey, Loma Linda, Calif.
Thank you for the work of love you do for our church members in the North Pacific Union Conference. I really appreciate the Gleaner keeping us informed about what is happening in our union and how God is blessing us. I especially enjoyed the Let’s Talk article “Gift” by Steve Vistaunet in the December issue. What a precious family Christmas story about the kindness of others and Jesus’ love for each one of us! It really touched me.
Roxanne Stevenson, Salem, Ore.
I am very saddened that Steve Vistaunet will not be writing his "Let's Talk" column any longer. He will be sorely missed! I so look forward to his articles each month and have been moved deeper in my faith for them. Thank you, Mr. Vistaunet, for your spirit-filled words these past years. I hope you will still continue to write for us in some form as you leave this particular platform.
René Painter, Puyallup, Wash.
Gleaner responds: He will, with periodic editorials, as you can see by clicking here.