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Update: the House of Bishops of the US Episcopal Church has voted 62 to 45 to confirm the election of the Revd Canon V Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. At the end, before leaving, the assembled bishops sang Ubi Caritas. Details in our News Centre.

Hallo again to all.

There are six people who work on Anglicans Online (see our Staff page), but the two of us who write this front-page letter every week are its editors. In normal circumstances we work together to determine the focus of the week's edition; one of us writes a draft of the letter and the other edits, revises, and rewrites.

Today Cynthia is serving as a diocesan deputy in the midst of the tumult that is the General Convention of the Episcopal Church being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and Brian is in a quiet cafe in Copiapó, Chile, at the edge of the great Atacama desert. It is hard to imagine two more irreconcilable points of view. Do we succumb to the media frenzy and write about The Issue that is, for the moment, dominating media coverage in the USA, or do we pull back and try to find The Big Picture, assuming that there is one?

We suspect that you stop by Anglicans Online to find information and opinion; to read Anglican news and to learn what we and our columnists think of it all. What do we think of it all? Cynthia sat in the midst of the vortex in the House of Deputies and listened to the debate, participated in the vote, and watched, walked through, and sometimes avoided all of the reporters and protesters and posturing. Brian sat 9,000 miles away in the square across from Copiapó Cathedral and listened to people discussing the recently-signed Free Trade agreement and the tennis victory of Fernando Gonzalez over Andre Agassi. From which point of view should we write this letter? What can we say?

We can say this: It would trivialise the sacrificial hard work given to General Convention by so many if we were to opine that today's vote does not matter. Of course it matters. There is no point in us telling you what happened; the raw information is everywhere. (And it's several years too soon for us to tell you what we think it means.)

And we can say this: Modern electronic media give a glut of information and a dearth of meaning. We're all encouraged to check in 10 times per day and to wait breathlessly for every new report. All news, all the time. There are hundreds of press releases, position papers, media statements, sound bites, video clips, manifestos, and picket signs. It's vastly tempting, especially during General Convention itself, to believe that the event is its own meaning. We think not; we hope not. Anglicans Online columnist Pierre Whalon, a member of the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops, has written this sketch about finding God in a thicket of parliamentary procedure. Fret not, he assures us: God is there.

And, finally, we can say this. Will you join us?

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

This world is very much with us at present. But so is our God, world without end.

See you next week.

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