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Goodspeed, by American artistRockwell KentHallo again to all.

Today is the First Sunday of Christmas, the last day of the Second Millennium, the end of the Greenwich Millennium Dome, and the sixth anniversary of the founding of Anglicans Online.

Whilst the secular world has largely forgotten Christmas and can be seen busily taking down decorations in homes and shopping malls, we sing our carols, celebrate the season, and await the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem.

HM Queen Elizabeth II has for some years now made a Christmas Day address to the people of Britain. This year it was a profession of faith, perhaps seen as a restorative for the increasing pace of secularisation in British society.

An image of myrrh resin.Whether in the UK or any other first world country, few of us can escape the often crass aspects of the modern commercial world, but our own News Centre editor Brian Reid reveals how a few crushed bits of resin helped him travel to another time.

And in just a week's time, the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will inaugurate formally their Concordat. On Epiphany, a festival Eucharist will be celebrated jointly at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Wheel of FortuneAnd this week we welcome the Diocese of Taejon in Korea, along with several other interesting new web sites. We gather them all in New This Week. And do check the 'Worth Noting' area: some good reading there, including a brilliant new sermon from Raewynne Whiteley. We especially like 'The Wheel, The Clock and the River', by Tom Wright, published a year ago in the Church Times, in which he says:

So, is it all nonsense? Is the belief that history might be going somewhere—that the passage of time is part of God's good creation rather than a mere wheel spinning round—any more than an amusing party game, passing the parcel around in a ring and hoping something exciting will happen when the music stops?

Yes, there is more. The millennial instinct, if we can call it that, stands for something profoundly Christian. Underneath the surface noise, away from the wheel, the river and even the clock, there is a distinction to be made, which insists not only that Christians are right to reclaim the Millennium in whatever way we can, but also that time itself is to be embraced, not as a treadmill, but as a pilgrimage.

And on that pilgrimage, what better marching orders than those that Richard Holloway, recently retired primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, gave as he ended a Christmas Eve sermon:

Eat gustily and drink heartily—then get out there to change the world.

Happy 2001! And, as always, see you next week.

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

Last updated: 31 December 2000