from 2 to 9 May 2004
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real and virtual
A RECENT LINK you directed
your readers to information regarding making churches more accessible
to the disabled. This is a worthy goal to be sure;
I am seeing more and more services interpreted for the hearing disabled,
and these services seem to attract those whom they are designed to
help. I wonder how many of your readers have thought about making
church web sites as accessible as their buildings and events. In
a recent issue of A List Apart (an online magazine for people who
make web sites) Trenton Moss provides a gentle introduction to this
topic. It's a brief article, but full of links for techniques to
assist the blind, the color blind, and those of us with ageing eyes
who need to resize the smaller fonts occasionally. The article can
be accessed here .
St Michael's and All Angels
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
4 May 2004
ye the living among the dead'
LETTER LAST WEEK STRUCK A CHORD with
me. I work and worship at St. John's Cathedral, which is set in a
large graveyard. It predates the parish,
which was established in 1820, but many of the earliest graves are
unmarked — the earliest marked grave being that of the eight-month
old son of George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Baby George died in 1832.
a lot of time there on my lunch-hours, reading epitaphs and speculating
on the people they laud. (Did you
ever read a negative epitaph?) The graveyard is shaded by stately
old trees, and is home to squirrels, birds of all kinds (including
woodpeckers and crows) and even the occasional raccoon (we're on
the banks of the Red River). The neighbours around the Cathedral
walk their dogs in the graveyard, or walk along the grassy prayer
path that has been laid out between the graves in the south-east
quadrant, and neighbourhood cats come to forage for fieldmice.
is a busy place, not just on Sundays, but through the week,
and I've often been tempted to hang a sign on the fence that
seek ye the living among the dead,' but the graveyard is a serene
spot, an oasis of calm in a hurly-burly world. Our graveyard
is filled with graves of Hudson's Bay Company factors and fur
settlers, several bishops, deans and archdeacons, famous men
and women and those who lived and died in obscurity. It is a
of our city in stone, and, for me, it is a visible reminder of
the ever-present 'cloud of witnesses'.
The Cathedral Parish of St. John
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
3 May 2004
COLUMN LAST WEEK was
particularly timely for me. The dead in Iraq, in particular, have
been on my mind even more lately. I was at a conference in Washington,
D.C. Attending the conference were those of my (helping) profession
who serve on Active Duty in the US military. I heard their stories
from the front. At the same time I saw in the newspapers the names
and faces of April's dead. A young Army Captain told of arriving
in Kuwait. He stepped off the plane to the sight of eight coffins
being loaded onto another aircraft. He said he cried and called
back home. It brought him fact-to-face with the reality that he might
die in Iraq.
while in DC was to visit Arlington National Cemetery. I had never
been there before. It seemed like the time to go, to visit the honored
dead. It was particularly poignant to know that more young people,
from a new war, are being buried there. Remembering our war dead
should never be subversive!
the remembrance of the dead of this war every evening on the Lehrer
News Hour. To note each passing and remember them in my prayers seems
the least I can do. I would rather, though, be able to prevent their
deaths. Today our hospital chaplain and I spoke of how we, or anyone,
could effect a change in our nation such that we would seek peace
and not war.
St. Luke's Church, Renton
Renton, Washington, USA
4 May 2004
to the editor
once again to thank you for your words and your ministry here.
always taken great delight - and comfort - in memorials in churches,
and especially in churches which are 'designated' as memorial, in
their entirety. If our faith means anything at all, if we are to
have any good news to share, it must be this, that the dead ARE alive,
that for all the wonders of this world and our relationships with
each other, the best is YET to come.
parish, remembrance of those who have been buried from the church
is made every week as a regular part of our prayers of the people.
I don't think there's been a week when somebody has been brought
back to mind. Does it matter that we individual listeners/prayers
may not know anything about him or her? I don't think so . . .
little note: the 'secular' world hasn't entirely pushed memorials
to the periphery. In my city (Vancouver), we have a program
of memorial park benches which is wonderful. I'm
always looking for the new ones and reading the plaques that family
and friends remember by. I see many
others do the same, probably thinking, and maybe saying, 'When I
go, I want a bench at...'. Sometimes sitting and praying at one
just because I like the remembrance.
and keep you!
St Agnes, Diocese of New Westminster
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA
9 May 2004
We launched our 'Letters
to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our