Place to Begin
Hallo again to all, on this first Sunday of the last year of the Millennium. We are most pleased to note that the world still exists, that the apocalypse did not happen, and that almost no one was killed in end-of-year violence. Maybe next year when the Millennium ends, but people aren't partying, there will be problems of some kind or another. You may rest assured that we will give to future Y2K-related topics all of the news space that they deserve.
If you are one of those people who stockpiled tinned food and bottled water in anticipation of the apocalypse, we would like to suggest that you donate it to your local food bank or homeless shelter. Trust us on this one: every food bank in the world would love to have your tinned food, and most of them would love to have your bottled water. If you don't know how to find a food bank, ring your local Anglican or Episcopal church and ask them for the telephone number of the nearest homeless shelter or food bank. If you're wavering, please read the article 'There, but for the grace of God' by the Revd Robert Warren, director of the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal. This article appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
If you really wanted an Archbishop Bear as a Christmas gift, but didn't get one, we've discovered that you can buy a Spam bear for less than a quarter of the price, and add your own felt mitre and candy-cane crozier.
We are delighted to have new parish listings from Brazil and Japan, and we list two new diocesan web pages, the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Diocese of Northwest Australia. By our count, that means that 238 dioceses worldwide now have web pages, which is 41% of the 568 total dioceses that we know about. The organisation that sponsors Anglicans Online, The Society of Archbishop Justus, is happy to host the web page for any diocese that cannot afford to buy web hosting space elsewhere, and is willing to have discussions with dioceses that can afford it. We are especially anxious to see real web pages made for dioceses outside the major industrialised countries.
Brian says: 'My parish planted a Peace Pole today after the main service. After the Benediction and final hymn, before the dismissal, nearly the entire congregation followed the procession out through the narthex to the garden in front of the church where we offered a prayer for world peace around that new pole, and then "went forth in the name of Christ." A peace pole is shockingly ordinary; it is a simple piece of wood with a simple prayer on it in four languages. So many of the physical symbols around our church are so ornate and decorative that it took me a few moments to deal with such stark simplicity. But I came to grips with it in time to shout "Alleluia" after the Dismissal.'
We have a small listing of Epiphany or Twelfth Night resources that you may want to look at. Perhaps you have something to contribute, to help us make it into a bigger listing. The Australian tradition involving a swimming pool won't work very well in the northern hemisphere, but it's fun to read about.
See you next week, after Twelfth Night.
updated: 2 January 2000