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This page last updated 23 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 12 to 19 September 2004

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

Reading sermons online

I have been enjoying your site for several months now.

I think there is plenty of fine preaching out there. Furhtermore, the internet has made it much easier to access these sermons. I have the privilege of attending a wonderful parish, St Bart's in New York City, that emphasizes good preaching. I have commented to our Rector Bill Tully on more than one occasion that the compiled sermons would make a great book.

Here is a link to the archives:


James Marion
St Bartholomew's Epsicopal Church
New York, New York, USA
13 September 2004

Hearing sermons online

Re your comments on the publishing of sermons. We are working on putting audio recordings of our vicar's sermons on the internet. I wonder if anyone else is doing the same and how often anybody downloads them.

Robert W. M. Greaves
All Saints Anglican Church
14 September 2004

Those who are providing streaming audio or other sound format sermons might like to reply to Mr Greaves directly at

Once given, never read again?

Apparently you have not kept up with homiletical theory in the last twenty years. Current thinking is that a sermon is an "event" that happens in a particular place at a particular time in the context of a particular community. Written sermons are left-brain, linear, frozen products that can never recreate the setting of the sermon.

In other words, a sermon is meant to be heard -- 'Faith comes through hearing' -- not read. Collections of sermons are truly 19th-century anachronisms, and may be left in the dusty archives.

Bill Fulton
St Andrew's Episcopal Church
Florence, Oregon, USA
17 September 2004

Some of us can't hear sermons; either we read them or we miss them. Our homiletics expert tells us that this homiletical theory is about 30 years old, and that it doesn't preclude written sermons.

People, not 'issues'

In a letter posted on your site last week, a writer complains that all this talk about homosexuality seems to be a distraction from the more important issues. This type of statement can only come from someone who doesn't know what's at stake in the 'homosexuality issue'.

There are parts of the world -- parts of the Anglican world -- where people are imprisoned or executed for homosexual activity. In the United States, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (GLBT) persons are murdered every week because of that identification. It is believed that a high percentage of teen suicides in the U.S. are associated with unresolved negative feelings about and absence of support for kids dealing with their developing homosexuality. In many (most?) countries it is acceptable to take away livelihoods, children and homes, and limit access to legal protections solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

Taken as a whole and looked at globally, the death, dismemberment, and disenfranchisment of GLBT persons is a huge issue that certainly does rise to the level of the other issues the writer listed. We mustn't compare pain or try to rate who suffers more, but to minimize the suffering of GLBT persons by reducing it to a mere issue that is distracting us from dealing with more important matters is do just that. To minimize the seriousness of the 'homosexuality issue' is to evaluate the pain of GLBT persons and judge it to be less than the pain and suffering of others. This is arrogant presumption.

As always, thanks so much for your very helpful and informative site.

Jay Hulsey
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
17 September 2004

After the FAQ...

Thanks for all that you do in keeping us up to date in the communion.

In the news re the Eames Commission the Q & A section is interesting, but does little to inform the lay person what he or she is to do should an [ECUSA] diocese or province be declared out of communion with Canterbury.

This is a critical question for us common layfolk, who seem to matter so much less than the clergy these days.

Davis d'Ambly
St Mark's Locust Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
13 September 2004

A brother in the via media

I have read Anglicans Online for serveral years and liked the tone of it even though I am socially conservative (that is contradicted by leftist leanings on education, taxes, etc.). Your evenhandedness is something that I like and that you draw on not only our history, but that of the wider Catholic Church. Though I am socially conservative I would like for my fellow conservatives to sit down and shut for at least a few months and give Bishop Robinson a chance-after all, he is legally a bishop in the Church, so let the man do his work.

When Bishop Cate Waynick was elected I was very unhappy but she was our legally elected bishop so I listened to her teaching, which is throughly Christian and Anglican, and decided to continue to attend the parish church and stay the course.

Bishop Robinson was subjected to intense investigation and the allegations brought against him were found to be false or trumped up, so why not give him a hearing and let him carry on his ministry? Why not trust the Lord and follow events over a few years? Is there not a practice if not doctrine among Anglicans of receptionism whereby we wait and watch until we discern the will of the Lord?

Your brother,

Barry Brown
Christ Church, Madison
Switzerland County, Indiana, USA
17 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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