of 25 May
'The Blessed Order of the Laity'
letters all refer to our front-page letter published
on 25 May 2003.
YOU FOR YOUR EDITORIAL on
the ministry of the laity. I think many people are longing for
vocation and discipleship. It is easy to interpret a call to
vocation as a call to ordained ministry because it is, generally,
the only one for which we have a name. Maybe if we did a better
job of naming and celebrating the particular ministries to which
lay people are called we would have fewer disappointed would-be
postulants and more engaged congregations. A ministry of stewardship,
for example, may be expressed through environmental activism,
or through service on a church stewardship committee, or through
attending seminars and writing in a newsletter, or as a professor
or a natural resources lawyer. But we separate these activities
into different categories, and name some of them as 'church'
and others as 'not church'.
is a little service in the Book of Common Prayer: A Form of
Commitment to Christian Service. In a community in which
the laity are consciously living out their gifts and vocation,
maybe that service would be used almost every Sunday as parishioners
undertake new activities as part of their growing vocations.
In any case, here is one member of your online community who,
in the words of that service, prays that God gives you 'courage,
patience and wisdom' in your inspired work of Anglicans Online.
Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
IT IS GOOD to
begin my week by reading your site. I want to commend you for
the article on seeking Holy Orders. I
am the priest in charge of a not large parish and am blessed
to have five people in various stages of the ordination process,
with substantial secular careers and all earnestly, if not
quietly, committed to our Lord. While I certainly view these
to ordained ministry as the undoubted working of the Holy
Spirit, I do also and, not infrequently, worry if all the talent,
it were, is being taken away from this parish.
I know that the wider church is in great need of people such as
these whose pursuit of the ordained ministry and progress in the
Christian life has been neither comfortable nor predictable. Yet,
as with love, the more we give, the more is supplied. So, at the
end of the day, the Holy Spirit will bless this place by giving
us greater ability to serve as we commit more and more people to
God's ordained service.
Reverend Carlton Kelley
St Paul's Episcopal Church
Richmond, Indiana, USA
MESSAGE PUT ME IN MIND
of Nora Gallagher's new book Practicing
Resurrection: A Memoir of Discernment. Just out this March,
Nora's story is of her experience with the discernment process
church, Trinity Episcopal in Santa Barbara, California, Diocese
of Los Angeles. She explores the priesthood of the laity in
depth and finally concludes—at least for now—that
that is where she belongs. I
strongly recommend this book as well as Things Seen
and Unseen: A Year Lived in Faith written several years
ago. In both books, she discovers what her faith is, how
to practice it and where it leads her.
Gainesville, Georgia, USA
pens begin at home?
OVER JERUSALEM is
the image which comes to mind when I consider the situation
of the Archbishop of Canterbury being distressed
by hatemail. Who are these poisonous letter-writers?
Almost certainly not people outside the Church. Probably not
outside the Anglican Communion.
Rowan Williams has brought to this leadership role intellect,
vision and ability to convey his insights in an articulate
and lucid way. These gifts he might have put to good
use in many other spheres of life, but instead he put himself
forward to serve the God of truth and lead the Anglican
at a crucial stage in its history—indeed an act
of sacrificial love. The Early Church grew because
it was seen
by outsiders to be a few people who were known by their
love. For God's sake, let us pray for our brothers
and sisters in Christ
to lay down their poisonous pens, to love kindness
and to walk humbly with their God.
Charminster, Dorset, UK
by a common language
AM GRATIFIED that
you have begun a Letters column, and
cheered by the epistemological proof in the first edition.
I also noted
that you do not plan to change American usage for British (or
vice versa) in the letters printed, despite the obvious difficulties
in understanding which this will cause.
example is obvious: in American English 'epistemological' means
something far different
from in British! American: 'annoyed', as in 'That teacher,
'e pissed em all, logically!" Or British: 'intoxicated',
as in 'That publican, 'e pissed em all, logically!'. I don't
what further I can say. Pax!
Francis C. Zanger
Church of the Holy Communion
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
remaining mute, as well. For we could end up being twee,
in the wind—or not
LOOKING FOR HELP and
several people referred me to your site. This may seem trivial,
but I would like to purchase Episcopal
windsocks, in bulk, to use as a fund-raiser for our young
people who are planning to attend Cass Lake Episcopal
this summer. I saw one three years ago on the porch of
the Episcopal Chaplaincy house in Princeton. They don't know
where they acquired it. I've searched many places on
internet and this nifty little gift item still eludes
me. Thank you in advance for any leads you may be able to provide.
Hastings, Minnesota, USA
you can assist, send
an email to us at
Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to Ms Skov.
We launched our
'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters
are in our archives.
Below are links to the last two weeks, in case you missed them.
of 18 May 2003, including 'Numbers, proofs, and epistemology',
'Remembering Barbara Wolf', and 'Clergy checks and screening'.
May 2003, including 'The REALLY Big Clerical Directory',
'The ABC and his non-fan mail', and 'Pay Per View'.