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(This letter is a re-run. It was first published on 27 August 2000.
Don't miss new essays by Bishop Pierre Whalon and Br Thomas Bushnell.)

Hallo again to all.

Bealach, near ApplecrossThere are several significant news items in the News Centre this week*. And the usual dose of frivolity. We shall leave it to you to figure out which is which. We are intrigued by the story of the archaeological discovery of one of the earliest outposts of Christianity on a currently-uninhabited island north of Scotland. We are pleased to see another newspaper start a regular weekly reflections column. We were riveted by the review of a biography of the founder of the Shakers and were intrigued to read the discussions about drug tests in Anglican schools in the Diocese of Sydney.

This week we're delighted to list dioceses, cathedrals, and parishes from round the Communion: from Honduras and New Zealand to Barbados, Canada, and Wales. We have our first parish listings for South Dakota USA. We depend primarily on you, our readers, toA klein bottle: an object that contains itself, but is impossible in our world tell us about new parish web sites and changes to old ones, and we thank you for your continuing support. As usual, all the URLs are gathered in our New This Week section.

'The Communion'. Such a phrase. Like many of you, we sometimes wonder what on earth (or under heaven) that concept implies. There are times when the bonds that bind Anglicans together worldwide seem very real, very meaningful; at other times they seem frustratingly elusive or pettifoggingly legalistic. And alas sometimes they seem something to be left behind. The Reverend Ephraim Radner, a priest in the Diocese of Colorado recently wrote a compelling essay directed to what he terms 'conservative clergy' in his diocese (with whom he is in sympathy). He posits that staying in a church one disagrees with seriously is a great act of faith. The Reverend Tony Clavier, a priest in the Diocese of Arkansas, returned recently to the Anglican Communion after many years in the Continuing Church. He writes about whether ECUSA is indeed 'The General Convention Church' and whether that matters. Both essays are well worth your time.

Every week the flow of articles, speeches, essays, and diatribes about the health of the Anglican Communion continues. There are so many — and what they have to say is so rarely new — that we draw your attention only to those we consider extraordinary. But we also draw your attention to the verse of a hymn sung in our parish this morning:

Et in Arcadia egoWatch o'er thy Church, O Lord, in mercy,
Save it from evil, guard it still,
Perfect it in Thy love, unite it,
Cleansed and conformed unto Thy will.

As grain once scattered on the hillsides,
as in the broken bread made one,
So from all lands Thy Church be gathered
Into Thy Kingdom by Thy Son.

See you next week. We'll be here. We're not ever leaving.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 13 June 2004

* Remember this is an archive letter, so although some of the links in the News Centre from August 2000 work, some won't. But you will be able to get a flavour of Anglican news from that time.

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