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This page last updated 26 January 2004
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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. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.

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. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Letters received during the week of 18 January 2004

If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

One side

AS A CRADLE EPISCOPALIAN I experienced tremendous pride in my Church the day that General Convention confirmed Gene Robinson's nomination as a bishop. The majority of the Episcopal Church's bishops and lay leaders had faced the divisive actions taken by those who opposed this election — and I saw new hope for the church.

Until today when I read Deborah Daldwell's interview with Bishop Griswold I still had negative feelings toward the actions being taken by those who oppose Bishop Robinson's election. After reading Bishop Griswold's responses I feel totally confident in the stability and direction the Episcopal Church will take in the future. We are most fortunate to have Bishop Frank Griswold as our Presiding Bishop and Primate.

Carl D. Bell
Diocese of California
Los Altos, California, USA
19 January 2004

And another

I AM NEW TO YOUR SITE, but have enjoyed many of the discussions. I came to the Anglican Community as a result of compromise. As many of your readers may relate the Anglican Church provided a bridge for worship in a Protestant / Catholic marriage.

I readily embraced the church and found good fellowship and communion. But as the Church in the US began to cast a wide net of inclusion I began to fall away. It is one thing to love all, but yet another to condone acts that are castigated in negative tones in the Scripture. How far can you defend 'love the sinner, hate the sin?'

I think that the many churches in the US have fallen prey to being a harbor for the poitical and social minorities. What does this accomplish? Does this not isolate the faithful? Many in the Episcopal Church are conservative in their beliefs, relying on the Scripture for guidance, not bending and twisting bits and pieces. The old adage 'you must stand for something or you will fall for anything is so accurate at this time in the US Episcopal Church leadership.

For many years now the US church has been the recipient of missionaries from Africa and the Orient in order to try to turn the increasing tide of liberalism and political correctness. All of this said to convey that talk of a schism and the resulting discussions of doctrine should be a wake-up call to the Anglican Community. Remember what Christ said to the churches in Revelation!

I would love to be among the faithful again, but in the United States the Church has become the material for comedians and the tool of alternative lifestyle advocates. How many Episcopalians are leaving the Church because the Church left them?

May the peace of the Lord be with you.

Jeffrey Baker
Unchurched at the moment
Tyler, Texas, USA
21 January 2004

'Metaphorical nonsense?'

ECUSA'S PRESIDING BISHOP Frank Griswold has just come out with a new general letter in which he writes that he hopes 'God is leading us more deeply into who we are called to be as a community of faith'. Would anyone help me, please, to understand how this metaphorically nonsensical expression is rooted either in the inspiration of Jesus Christ or in the spiritual wisdom of the scriptures attributed to the first of Christ's apostles?

Henry Greville
St Edward's Parish
Stow-on-the-Wold, UNITED KINGDOM
23 January 2004

The Vancouver Sun and St Martin's Church

THE ARTICLE FROM THE VANCOUVER SUN (16 January 2004) seriously misrepresents the situation at St Martin's North Vancouver. This church has not decided to quit the orthodox coalition called the Anglican Communion in New Westminster. The only ones at the church who have decided to withdraw are the three wardens. These are three wardens who were installed by New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham when he invoked Canon 15 on the church. They are bishop-appointed wardens who do not represent the desires of the congregation.

St Martin's voted in two successive vestry meetings to seek alternative oversight and withhold assessments from the Diocese over the blessings of same sex unions.

Bishop Ingham invoked Canon 15, fired the entire democratically elected vestry, the much-loved youth pastor and the majority of volunteers in the parish. These were people who supported the decision to seek AEO. He also changed the locks on the church.

Canon 15 was invoked because the parish was considered by the bishop to be in crisis. It has not solved the problem. More than half of the congregation meets every Monday night at a nearby United Church for a prayer book service. The bishop-appointed trustees refused to allow them the use of their own sanctuary. Routinely more people show up Monday night than attend on Sunday. Many of those who attend Sunday also go to the Monday night service.

Last weekend when Bishop Ingham showed up to preach at the 10 a.m. service about 60 people were in the pews. Many of them refused to take communion from him. At the 8 a.m. service over 80 people attended many of whom left when the bishop arrived.

So far as the ACiNW is concerned St. Martin's remains a valued member of the coalition until such time as they achieve their aim of AEO, or have a democratic vestry meeting and vote that they no longer want to pursue this course. Given that they are not being allowed to vote on anything (or have input into the hiring of their new rector) I suspect they will remain within our fold until we reach a solution to this growing problem.

Lesley Bentley, spokesperson, ACiNW
St John's Church (Shaughnessy)
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA
21 January 2004

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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