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Hallo again to all.

At the bottom of this page, and all 600 pages throughout our site, it says ‘This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated.’

It’s true. We are not deacons, priests, or bishops. We are not church employees. We don’t represent or speak for anyone but ourselves. We write about the church because we love it, but our official role in the church is that of faithful laypeople. We attend our parish church every Sunday when we are not stopped by disease or injury. We listen to our rector’s sermons, talk to fellow parish members, and cherish our role as, well, sheep, rather than shepherds.

Yes, he’s back for Lent and for all time: Our boy in Hippo, the Right Reverend Saint Augustine

Augustine of Hippo, an authority on sin and repentance. Still worth reading after all these years.

So here we are in the middle of Lent. Like millions of other Anglicans worldwide, we sang hymns, listened to scripture readings and a sermon, professed our faith, confessed our sins, took the Eucharist, and chatted with our fellow parish members before heading back to our weekend business.

Our weekend business is to edit and publish Anglicans Online. We update our resource listings, scan the world’s news for stories relevant to our News Centre, track corrections to our links, and write this front-page letter. Then we publish. We try to be global, useful, literate, spiritual, and concise. And we aim to get each week’s edition online by midnight, local time.

But it is now more than halfway through Lent, and there is a war going on. The discipline of Lent is guiding us to focus our thoughts and prayers more carefully than we might at other times. And the war is causing us, like most of the people we know, to concentrate more on what we are doing and why we are doing it.

Just a block in Baghdad...

This morning our rector’s sermon reminded us that, especially during Lent, it is better to think about our own sins rather than the sins of others. In thinking about that and how it applies to us, we realised that in our front-page letter of two weeks ago—in which we expressed an opinion about the Jensen family members in the Diocese of Sydney—we were doing quite what we were suggesting that they not do.
This morning, in Lenten prayer, we realised that we made a mistake in commenting on others’ behaviour, when our own is so clearly mortal and imperfect.

We should like to offer our apology to the Diocese of Sydney for writing what we did. We will leave it to the secular press to duel or deal with what is or isn’t happening there. We were out of place to express an opinion of that nature. Our motives were pure, as we expect that the Jensens’ were, too, and any differences that we might or might not have with the way a diocese is operating, we should keep to ourselves or communicate in private. But our comment did more harm than good, and we feel penitential for having made it. A public confession is always delicate, because if you say too much, it looks as though you are trying to attract attention to the very act of your repentance.

Now, about this Lenten war. How best to proceed? We’ve stared for hours at this aerial photograph of the only Anglican church in Iraq, looking empty and forlorn in the shadow of the Ministry of Information, thought about all of those who through the years have attended services there, and wondered whether it will still be standing a month from today. We hope, we pray, we plead that this war will be over soon, and that there will be no increase in Christian-Muslim conflict as a result. Meanwhile, we wait...

See you next week, Deo volente.

Brian Reid’s signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 30 March 2003

This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2003 Society of Archbishop Justus