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This page last updated 9 June 2003
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE publish a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking. Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online.

Please note that we edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to English orthography. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

Ready to write a letter of your own to us? Click here.

Week of 1 June

What makes a church an Anglican church?

The following three letters all refer to our front-page letter published on 1 June 2003.

• THANK YOU FOR YOUR EDITORIAL of 1 June. As someone who was sponsored for ordination by the church you mentioned, it was wonderful to read about how well it is doing. It was even more wonderful to read the words that I women talkinghave said over and over again: issues of women's ordination, sexuality, etc.. are not commonly at the forefront of our minds when we gather for worship on Sunday mornings.

For most congregations, I suspect, the hot-button issues of the day take a back seat to the normal challenges of congregational life --- from lavabo bowls to lavatories, from that annoying person three rows back on the right to who might be the right person to teach Sunday School, and other nitty-gritty issues. While occasionally I lament that folks are (literally) so parochial, it is good to remember that 95% of what is done or passed at General Convention will likely never come up in conversation at the parish level. Sometimes when one looks at the forest, one misses the beauty of a single tree, much less a single branch.

The Revd Tom Sramek, Jr.
St Alban's
Albany, Oregon USA

• IN YOUR PIECE THIS WEEK, you refer to Sunday being "The Sunday after Ascension" rather than "Trinity Sunday." However, my BCP lists Trinity Sunday as being the first Sunday after Pentecost, since between Ascension Day and Pentecost, we have not yet received the Holy Spirit. I am curious now, though, whether this "in between" Sunday did formerly have a name of its own.

Although, the point of your article is these details are not what make us an Anglican Church, arguing over them certainly seems to be an Anglican trait!

Peace and blessings, Heather

Heather Mina
St Aidan's
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

• HI, JUST THOUGHT I'D LET YOU KNOW that yesterday in the Anglican Communion Cycle of Prayer we were asked to pray concerning 'communications and media' and so you and your excellent website got a specific mention.

Also, about the query you wanted to ask your Rector as to why the handwashing occurs after the collection instead of (what would appear more appropriate) before the preparation of the elements - I have always understood that it dated from ancient times when the collection would contain gifts of food for the sustenance of the clergy and that hands needed to be washed after receiving and dedicating such things as cheese and olives. In our present context washing before would seem more sensible.

Father Jim Brady
St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

Episcopal Windsocks and diversity of Anglican communion

I'M QUITE AMAZED TO READ about the 'Episcopal Windsocks' requested by Mrs Skov because I do not see any of such in Singapore. It points out to me that indeed the Church of England is so diverse in our own ways and yet in Communion with one another, anchored onto the same Rock and holding fast to our common beliefs and doctrines. I'm am pretty sure that there are some things in the Anglican church in Singapore unheard by many of you and would like to know more about the windsocks. Thank you. Regards from Singapore.

Gabriel Leng
St Andrew's Cathedral

Older parishers like good wine

MY CONGREGATION CONSISTS mainly of older, but still very robust, active, and committed Christian folk, many of whom are dealing with, or have dealt with various forms of cancer. We've been talking about how we might be of service to the people in the area around us, and have thought that age, instead of being the liability it's usually considered to be, might instead be a powerful asset.

I remember reading, quite some time ago, in Anglicans Online of a program somewhere in the UK that had been successful, not just in "caring for" older people, but in keeping even those who cannot get about much active and involved in parish life. I don't know if you have any way of finding the reference, but if you can, I would appreciate having it, so that we aren't in the business of "re-inventing the wheel." We have an inkling that we are maybe being called, not so much to "caring for" the elderly, but in utilizing (and enjoying) their undoubted gifts.

I read Anglicans Online every week. It is by far the best and least biased way to keep track of things Anglican.

Thanks very much for your help, or at least for your effort.

Richard W. Greene

(The Revd) Richard W. Greene
Holy Trinity, Geneseo, Illinois
Princeton, Illinois, USA

We were unable to find this. If you can assist, send us an email at Anglicans Online and directly to The Reverend Greene.

Earlier letters

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.

Week of 25 May 2003, including 'Blessed Order of the Laity'

Week of 18 May 2003, including 'Numbers, proofs, and epistemology', 'Remembering Barbara Wolf', and 'Clergy checks and screening'.



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