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©2001 The Society of
Archbishop Justus, Ltd


Hallo again to all.

Anglicans Online has somewhere round 150,000 readers and though we always love to hear from you, we could never cope with hearing from each of you every week. But God steers some people to write when it is time. Yesterday we heard from Dorothy Crocker in the Bruce Peninsula of the Diocese of Huron, Ontario, Canada about our last week's letter:

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my husband's death and he is much on my mind today. (That happens after 50 years of marriage.) He never made a pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem, but as a Canadian soldier in the ranks in WWII on leave in London, this former choirboy went to St Paul's Cathedral. There, the choir was singing 'Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest,' which hymn thereafter was irrevocably joined to that place and memory of the heavenly Jerusalem in war-torn London. Over the years since WWII he told that story more than once from the pulpit.

The quote from Bunyan, with the ringing questions 'Death, where is thy sting?' and 'Grave, where is thy victory?' brought his voice to my mind, reading those words at funerals as only he could. That passage from Corinthians is not popular these days, too much earthiness in it. It was his favourite and he read it magnificently. The friend who read it at his requiem did it almost as well as Bob, but not quite. And the poem, unknown to me hitherto, will go in a special place, as will your whole editorial. Bob would have relished it as I know he relishes the holy city.

Can you resist?We asked Dorothy's permission to quote from her letter, because it made us stop to think about a rarely-mentioned role that the church plays in our lives. We will all die, but our church lives on, and its permanence helps make more real our memories and reminiscences of lost loved ones. We shall never again be able to sing a certain hymn without weeping because we sang it at an infant's funeral years ago.

But now go read Pierre Whalon's new essay about the need for the church to attract the young. And there, in a nutshell, you have the fundamental dilemma that has vexed every church since the beginning. It must be, at the same time, permanent and adaptive. For the ages and for this age. That sounds like a contradiction, but the history of Christianity shows that it is possible.

Speaking of change, don't forget to look at our New This Week page and our News Centre. They bring your attention to changes in Anglicans Online and in the Anglican world.

See you next week. We hope that never changes.

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

Last updated: 5 August 2001