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This page last updated 15 September 2004
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. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 5 September to 12 September 2004

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

Meat and right

YOUR DISCUSSION LAST WEEK (7 September 2004) reminds me of my childhood puzzlement over the response at the Sursum Corda. 'It is meet and right so to do.'

I had to get to the 3rd grade and homonyms before I understood that we weren't talking about 'meat.' I guess it is right so that we meet.

Liz Gober
St Christopher's Church
Springfield, Virginia, USA
6 September 2004

Meet the right?

IS (HOMO)SEXUALITY REALLY the most important moral issue of our time? I often wonder whether history will judge these decades as a time when Christians argued over a bedroom issue while innocent children, women and men died across the world for the sake of territory, race, class and money. When last I checked, no one had died as a result of the Robinson hullabaloo. Surely our energies and resources could be better spent building the kingdom of God.

Note that I don't blame AO for their coverage or content. In fact, I sense that you long for something new to address as well.

Brian A. Smith
St Luke's Church, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Grantham, Pennsylvania, USA
7 September 2004

In comparison with other online Anglican forums, especially those that scorn us for being too 'liberal', Anglicans Online publishes almost nothing on the topic of homosexuality and the church. We fear that entirely too many people actually do believe that homosexuality is the most important moral issue of our time.

We want the church to be in our image

GOD BLESS YOU, Anglicans Online!!

In the midst of so much venom and vehemence, it is refreshing to hear your witty, well-informed, and above all, charitable voice. Rowan Williams was so right when he said at Greenbelt that we all want the church to be in our image, rather then in the form that our compassionate and wise heavenly Father suffers it to be. Compassion and wisdom are very close. Bless you.

The Reverend Gerry Reilly
[I am retired and minister all over the Deanery]
Crewkerne, Somerset, UNITED KINGDOM
10 September 2004

Finding information in our files? What files?

MY SISTER AND I are interested in finding out what information you have in your files about our aunt, the Reverend Margery Pezzack, the first Anglican Priest in the Diocese of Toronto. Also, our father, Hedley Pezzack served the Diocese of Toronto for many years and we would like to know if you have any items about him in your files.

Also, I am wondering if you still have any information in your archives about Miss Hasell and Miss Sales who ran the Caravan Missions out west in the 1950s. They were from England but spent their summers travelling around Peace River country visiting families and spreading the Good News. I was always interested in their work.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Eileen Lavigne
Mount Royal United Church
Moncton, New Brunswick, CANADA
10 September 2004

We have no files, but the Diocese of Toronto certainly does. According to the diocesan website, the keepers of the Diocesan Archives are willing to be consulted on matters such as yours. Here is the contact information provided by the Diocese of Toronto. We believe that the Caravan Missions were in the Diocese of Yukon, whose early diocesan records were deposited with the Yukon Archives under accession numbers 86/61, 89/41, and 94/78.

But what if we're in a pickle?

A WISE OLD RETIRED PREACHER told me that if you are in trouble always remember Philippians 4:6. I have found it helpful because he rhymed it as

    If in a fix
    Philippians 4 6

so I thought I would pass it on as I'm very glad that he gave me such a useful tool not only for myself but as a help for others.

D. Kelly
St John's Te Awamutu
10 September 2004

We meet for a common reason and purpose

I AM A GREAT ADMIRER of Archbishop Tutu. I agree with your last lead essay that he is one of the great bishops of the 20th century. But, I am afraid I find his assertion that what keeps us together is simply that "we meet" inadequate and not altogether reflective of the Anglican tradition. Another of our greatest bishops of the 20th century, Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1961 to 1974, saw it otherwise. Ramsey, who could hardly be accused of being a fringe figure wrote:

A word about unity. In the seventeenth chapter of St John it is recorded that Christ prayed for the unity of his disciples. If you are trying to be a Christian, I am sure you are concerned about that. But notice also that, in this same prayer, Christ prayed that his disciples might become holy, sanctified; and he also prayed that they might learn truth - 'sanctify them in the truth.'

Unity, truth, holiness: the three are inseparable. Because of its connection with the truth, Christian unity cannot be based on theological vagueness or indifference. And as for holiness, the implication is that we are drawn into that togetherness with one another which Christ desires if we are also being drawn into that togetherness with him which is our call to be saints.

Re-union, then, goes with recovery of truth, and with the re-consecration of lives. Each of these is urgent in its demands upon us. None of these however can be faster than the others; and there is a divine urgency and a divine patience. Introducing The Christian Faith, p. 76

If the Anglican Communion is to hold together, it won't be the result of sentimental appeals like Rodney King's, "Why can't we all just get along." Nor will it be the result of misrepresenting the Anglican tradition as one that is committed to theological vagueness. It will be because we reclaim the understanding that truth and holiness matter as well as unity. Our disagreements about the faithful options for homosexual Christians need to be framed in that context and language. Ohterwise, our continuing to meet will not mean much. By all means, let us continue to meet. But let us remember and insist that we meet for a common reason and purpose.

The Very Reverend Matthew Gunter
St Barnabas Church
Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA
11 September 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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