Hallo again to all.
This week we introduce a new design for Anglicans Online. The content is the same as it has been, save for the new things we've added. But the layout, organisation, colour scheme, and typography are new. We like it a lot, and we hope that you do, too. If you're interested in comparing the old and the new, we've kept the last edition of our previous design online here. We'd enjoy knowing what you think about the new look: do let us know. Is our old banner a link on your web site? Do change to the new one or alert your webmaster. Directions here.
Just as the value of a Eucharist is in its meaning and not its beauty or pleasure, Anglicans Online is mostly about content, not form, and despite the amazing amount of work that it took us (mostly Cynthia) to produce this new design, we had some time left over to find some new material to bring to your attention. The Tablet is a highly regarded Roman Catholic weekly in England, read by many Anglicans. Like the Church Times, it puts only a fraction of its paper content onto its web site. Last week there was a significant article on the troubles in the Anglican Communion that did not make it to the web site, and this week there is another such article that did. Both of these are linked in our News Centre.
A time-honoured accusation against Anglicans is that we have an 'edifice complex'. If so, we have some of the most beautiful edifices in the world. But, alas, fewer and fewer Anglicans are darkening their doors, and in the The Temple Barred, a sobering article in The Guardian (UK), Christopher Rowland reflects on what that means: 'A recent poll shows under a million people attend regular Sunday worship in Britain; church-going is half what it was in the early 70s. At this rate the churches could be empty in 20 years. If they are, will it matter?' Philip Larkin's great poem, Church Going, gives one answer. Katherine Guckenberger, a staff editor at The Atlantic Monthly, gives another in 'An Unlucky Place?'.
In our Essays section, you'll find a new entry. Jeanie and Bill Wylie-Kellermann have been on a remarkable journey since September 1998, when Jeanie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. Since that time, Jeanie's reflections on life, illness, love, God, disease, laughter, and death are astonishing reading. 'Jeanie Wylie was raised on Beacon Hill, Boston, in the Quad of General Seminary, New York, and along the lake shore of Menomenee, Michigan by virtue of her father's calling as Episcopal priest, dean, and finally bishop. She did her undergraduate thesis on TS Eliot, and her Columbia University journalism Masters thesis on the paradoxical relationship of two parishes: St James Madison Avenue and St Anne's South Bronx'. Jeanie is a co-editor of The Witness magazine. The last paragraph from her Christmas 1999 essay: 'It's the great tension of our faith. What is it we are about? Are we living or dying? Does it matter? Knowing some of the stats on cancer, I look around rooms now and wonder. If it's one out of three, who else shares this ailment? How can we help each other? What worldly things need to change? Which factories close? Which pollutants get screened out of smoke? How can we learn to walk in beauty and trust, while also fighting back? ... And most of all, how can we praise God without ceasing in this time-bound world?' Jeanie does. Read, and see.
And there's still more in New This Week: The Anglican Society now has a web presence. The Church Publishing Company has put the text of the 'Blue Book' online, a published set of documents for the ECUSA General Convention, containing several significant reports. We've added to our Lenten Resources a site called 'Passover Dinner for Christian Congregations', which contains a good collection of links to online and offline resources to help Christians celebrate Seder. We welcome to the web new parish sites in Tasmania, England, Scotland, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Texas.
And we'll see you next week, on Palm Sunday.
9 April 2000