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©2001 The Society of
Archbishop Justus, Ltd


Hallo again to all.

We at Anglicans Online are inconsistent about how we use this space in our short weekly letter. We try not to make it a sermon, because all of you hear, write, or deliver too many of those. We try not to make it a re-cap of what is elsewhere in our large site; why bother. If we see something compelling and we know how to write about it, then we do so. Otherwise we lapse into breeziness and chit-chat about the week's cull of Anglicana.

Archbishop Peter Jensen
An Australian Anglican who still actually attends church. Click to learn more about him.

We were planning to be breezy this week, and then we read the text of the presidential address delivered by the Most Revd Dr Peter Jensen to Sydney's 2001 Diocesan Synod. That made us decide not to write anything this week; we'll just send you off to read that.

Sydney isn't like other Anglican places. Whether you agree or disagree with the way things are done in Sydney, you will certainly concur that they are done differently. In the UK, many people that we talk to seem to think of Sydney as 'a bit odd'; in North America, with its televangelists and fundamentalists, those who know anything about Sydney tend to think of them as 'Anglo-baptists' when they think of them at all.

Three weeks ago we said to you 'If you read nothing else this week, read the essay by Andrew Sullivan in this week's New York Times magazine.' We still mean it, and if you didn't read it then, please do so right now. While somewhat topical, it delves deep into the role of fundamentalism in modern society. Please really do this, because it sets the background for your next reading assignment.

Now go read the text of Dr Jensen's presidential address. The whole thing. Don't skip the hard parts. It took us nearly 30 minutes to read it in the depth that it deserves. We aren't saying that we agree with all that he says, we are saying that his message is important, and well phrased. You'll find references to Australian newspaper coverage of this address in our News Centre, but don't settle for reading about it. Read it. While the strategy that Sydney is considering for evangelism may not be the most appropriate one for every other diocese, at least they have a strategy. Do you?

We remember some years ago standing in the bookstore of the ECUSA headquarters in New York City (perhaps the most oppressively terrible office building we have ever entered) and seeing for sale a rubber stamp that said something like 'The Episcopal Church: eschewing simplistic theology since 1789'. We giggled, didn't buy one, and now wish we had, so we could use that stamp as an illustration on this otherwise formal page.

Our New This Week section has the usual eclectic gathering of new listings for parishes, bishops, ministries, holy orders, book reviews, and cathedrals. Have a look. But please do your assigned reading first, lest you get distracted.

See you next week.

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

Last updated: 28 October 2001