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This page last updated 5 October 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 26 September to 3 October 2004

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

Who is acting in bad faith?

I AGREE WITH YOUR OBSERVATIONS on 24 September about the rancor that seems to go with church governance, and I appreciate your suggestions for combating it: prayer, song, and communion. It's so tempting -- and so wrong -- to assume the "other guy" is acting in bad faith. That assumption usually falls apart in the midst of exercising your shared faith with each other.As one who's fired off an angry missive aimed at AO, I've certainly been guilty of imputing bad motives to those I disagreed with (and don't really know). (See "Deconstructing statements, letters, and wizards" in Letters to AO, Week of October 21, 2003.)Undoubtedly, tough decisions are facing members of this Communion, from national churches to individual parishes to individual parishioners. But I'm confident that better decisions will grow out of prayer, praise, and community than from anyone trying to "get his shots in." Although "those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" are blessed, I don't remember anything about blessings on those who are indignant in their righteousness.

Jim Rain
St. Luke's - Dallas
Dallas, Texas USA
27 September 2004

Instant response or instant bickering?

I FOUND YOUR EDITORIAL about Vestry meetings interesting! I've been privileged to be invited to be part of a very united (and also rather large) Vestry. I think the fact that we pray together at the beginning and end of meetings helps.

However, the thing that caught my attention was your comment about the global community of Anglicans. Our church has recently been through a difficult patch over what to do with our organ - replace it with a digital organ, or try to repair it again? During the debate, we decided to set up an email list where people could discuss the issue - in retrospect, this may have been a mistake. Instead of giving people a chance to discuss the issues calmly and rationally (which was the intention), it became a place of "instant response", villification, and entrenched positions. It was painful to watch our normally united, loving parish descend into bickering and spite.

Sometimes this technology is a mixed blessing (even though I'm a techno-buff).

Thank you for again providing food for thought!

Pax et Bonum

Robyn Parkin n/TSSF
St James' Lower Hutt
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
29 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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