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Hallo again to all on this third Sunday of Advent.

We're delighted to welcome a hearty number of new sites this week, most of those being parishes from round the communion, from Canada to Hong Kong. In addition we note with pleasure web sites for the Ecclesiastical Law Society of the United Kingdom and MANNA, the Mozambique and Angola Anglican Association, whose purpose is to 'further the work of the Anglican Communion in Mozambique and Angola, and to broaden the awareness of the Anglican Communion of their sister churches in Mozambique and Angola'.

The lights of earth from space, November 2000
(A large image [564K] here.)

Once we move from thinking of the specific entities—like Mozambique and Angola and our own dioceses—to pondering the vast global network called the 'Anglican Communion', we can all become a bit muddy about just what sort of enterprise we are engaged in. Anglicans Online columnist Pierre Whalon, in his latest essay, 'Our Piece of the Puzzle', makes a good case for why Communion begins at home.

Have you ever longed to write a letter to The Times? This may be your chance. The Times (London) has a 'Talking Point' section in which their writers respond directly and quickly to emailed questions and comments submitted by readers. Does the issue—'What does Christmas mean in the year 2000?'—inspire you? If so, fill out this form. Ruth Gledhill, the Times religion correspondent, will write 'Talking Point' on Tuesday, 19 December and might possibly include your question.

Worldwide the Anglican news this week is, well, rather ordinary. There are easily twenty new stories listed in our News Centre, but none of them will make your eyes widen with surprise. As we enter the final week of Advent, it seems only right that the world be as ordinary as this.

Occasionally we've mentioned that Anglicans Online is produced by a very small number of people. Because of that, we're delighted that we have a network of volunteers to scout information for us. If you check Anglicans Online on a Monday and Tuesday, you might possibly have noticed that it will have fewer typographical errors on that second day of publication. We are grateful for the service donated by a professional proofreader in another country who generously proofreads AO every Monday, catching what we on the production side have missed. Thank you, L.

Sequoia treesSee you on Christmas Eve, in a holiday-abbreviated form. In this ordinary world, this waiting time:

So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mould.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions
of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
  Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
  Brian Reid

*From Wendell Berry's Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Last updated: 17 December 2000