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This page last updated 3 January 2005
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 for our Tenth Anniversary edition, Christmas 2004
(Regular weekly letters will resume next week)

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the letter writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

From the Founder of AO

Congratulations on ten years -- it's wonderful to see that you've kept it going so well and so true to its original intention. I obviously left it in excellent hands. :-)

Tod Maffin
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA
19 December 2004

From Oklahoma, USA

I check AO religiously every week (pun intended). It has helped me connect with like-minded souls the world over, and reconnect with friends and the church in Australia, which I left in 1989. It has helped me get multiple angles on important issues in the Anglican/Christian/Religious world where I might otherwise only hear a single voice. Most importantly, AO helped me find my current parish on moving to a new state, a place that has been one of the most important influences in my life. AO has truly been a blessing!

Stephen Stray
St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
14 December 2004

From New Zealand

Congratulations on your 10th birthday and thank you for the excellent work you do in linking Anglicans everywhere.

I travel regularly overseas from my home in Napier in Aotearoa-New Zealand and always try to attend an Anglican service. Believe it or not, you did help me find an Anglican church in Rio -- and Tokyo, Washington DC, Portland, Cancun, Canberra and Hong Kong -- and a few more places besides. And you've kept me up to date and informed of news of the church around the world.

Here's to the next 10 years and God bless you in your ministry. In a church and world so increasingly divided, we need you!

Stephen Jacobi
Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Napier
20 December 2004

From North Dakota, USA

How do I make use of AO in my life?

(1) As a graduate student in theology, (liturgics, to be precise), I make almost daily use of the links to various liturgical resources, especially the BCP and Common Worship. I'd be lost without this easy-access portal.

(2) I enjoy the weekly editorial. I find it helps me keep perspective on the sometimes insane life of the Church. Every week, it seems, it's good for at least one laugh and one serious point for further reflection... quite often, more of both.

(3) I enjoy being able to visit the websites of various parishes in the US and around the globe. I have been known to spend a whole night examining art, architecture, religious ed. programs, music lists... you get the idea. It's informative and entertaining.

(4) And because of all these fabulous features, (and many more), I have been exposed to the wide treasury of Anglicanism. I was received into the Episcopal Church this past summer; while I can't give you ALL the credit for that, you do deserve some share!

Long live AO.

Cody Unterseher
Saint George, Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck, North Dakota, USA
13 December 2004

From Warwickshire, UK

Anglicans Online has given me an appreciation of the wider Anglican communion (i.e., beyond my own diocese!), enabling me to begin to understand some of the culture clash issues now arising between its members. You provide a real and valuable service in introducing us to each other! Also, the Anglican news from any country often provides a useful counterpoint to whatever item the secular press might be carrying. Many, many thanks for educating me about my brothers and sisters around the world.

Kathy Wilson
Holy Trinity, Long Itchington
Long Itchington, Warwickshire, UNITED KINGDOM
16 December 2004

From Maryland, USA

Your weekly editorials are a high point of my Monday mornings. The various links are useful from time to time, but what I really value is the non-mean take on Anglican news and on life in the church.

The Rev. Ronald H. Miller
St. Mary the Virgin (part-time interim)
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
13 December 2004

From Pennsylvania, USA

Others will probably say this better but I still feel a need to proclaim the bleedingly obvious if as nothing else than as a thank-you note, -- Anglicans Online gives the Anglican Communion a way to communicate.

It allows us to apprehend, in terms of the minute particulars, other Provinces, other mindsets, other ways. It is one thing to know something in abstract, very large realities can be shrunken down into very small labels; it is quite another thing to read a news article from a local newspaper about this or that issues facing this or that church. The abstract expands into a set of specific individuals, working within our Anglican tradition, who are doing their best to understand and follow God's Will in whatever circumstances are their particular lot, God help them. And, if we are open to grace, that sense of sympathy, of recognition, of commonality, when felt, can only do the Communion good.

To continue with the obvious, this is a blessing during a time of division. The Communion has evolved to face very different circumstances and calls in various parts of the globe. If we are to be the Body of Christ, we need to acknowledge our dependence on these different calls, and to be grateful to and for them. We need to acknowledge other parts and communicate with them. If I were a bit better at biology I could perhaps assign to vehicles of information and communication such as Anglicans Online a proper analogy to a type of blood cell, one of the many types that circulate through the body, keeping it vital and healthy, feeding it with the oxygen of the Spirit, keeping it of a piece.

Which leads to the obvious pun, of a peace. And as the Druids we are so often accused of being might say to that -- God willing, so mote it be.

Kay Wisniewski
St Paul's, Chestnut Hill
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
20 December 2004

From Scotland

I produce and present a weekly radio show on Sunday mornings. It's targetted at the age 45+ church goer. I find the site fruitful for thought (things to say and reflect on on air) and also 'news from the churches', a regular spot on the show. My only disappointment is that my show goes on air 8am Sunday morning and I don't get the site updates until Monday morning over here!

Many thanks for all the work that goes into producing the site.

John Davidson
St Ninian's, by Bruces' Well, Prestwick, Scottish Episcopal Church
Irvine, Ayrshire, SCOTLAND
24 December 2004

From a Lutheran pastor in Texas, USA

You had asked how we use Anglicans Online in our ministries... to begin, I enjoy your intro every week as it does give me much to ponder. Second, I use the resources page frequently. I love the news page as well. Y'all do a great job of presenting news from around the Anglican Communion and at not being biased. As I am a pastor of an ELCA congregation, with whom the ECUSA is in full communion, I really like hearing the latest that is going on with our Anglican sisters and brothers. Your site is awesome, and provides such a wonderful service.

Blessings on your tenth year!

Fr. Joseph E. Summerville III
Alvin Lutheran Church ELCA
Alvin, Texas, USA
14 December 2004

From a college student in Oklahoma, USA

I'll put this briefly because I have a final exam in ten minutes. Anglicans Online has meant one thing for me:


I am a Theology Major at a Roman-Catholic university and live in a place where Anglicans are few and far in between. Whenever I begin to feel as if I am standing alone I click onto Anglicans Online ... and am home in and with the church all over the world and throughout the ages.

Thank you, Anglicans Online.

Joshua Matthew Shawnee
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
St. Gregory's University, Oklahoma, USA
13 December 2004

From Manitoba, Canada

Happy tenth anniversary! How do I love and make use of thee? Let me count the ways:

1: You are my Monday morning dose of sanity. I log on every Monday morning for your calm, objective view of the church in the world.

2: You are my source for thousands (I think, although I haven't used them all) links to Anglicans everywhere, and more!

3: Your news pages keep me up to date on just what is really going on in the worldwide Communion, so that I can form my own opinions about where my church is headed.

4: I've used links provided by you to find valuable resources for lay readers, Sunday school teachers, pastoral care workers, and other ministries of the church to help me in my role as coordinator of ministries in my parish.

There are many more reasons, but space is limited, so suffice it to say, I look forward to at least another ten years of Anglicans Online. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Blessings to all as you continue your Advent journey, and may your Christmas be full of joy, peace, and wonder!

Rene Jamieson
St. John's Cathedral
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
13 December 2004

From Devon, UK

Every Monday morning I log onto your site. It is full of what I term sanctified common sense. It is so easy to get over-concerned with the everyday details of parish life and your site keeps people in touch will the broad and balanced picture. I refer to your site when preaching and when writing articles in the parish magazine. I have also recommended it to friends. Long may you continue to inspire mainstream Anglicans and others.

Wendy Pezzey
Stoke Damerel and St Aubyn
Plymouth, Devon, UNITED KINGDOM
17 December 2004

From California, USA

Every Sunday evening for the past (gosh -- I don't know how long now), around 9 PM, I've checked on the Web for the latest installment of wit and wisdom from the staff. A great way to end the weekend and start the week.

Although I haven't been an active Episcopalian for some time now, it's nice to see some common sense reporting and commentary as opposed to what one finds in some of the discussion boards or in the secular media lately.

Happy 10th anniversary to all of you at Anglicans OnLine! Please - please, keep up the good work. We're counting on you.


Mark Wood
Vacaville, California, USA
13 December 2004

From Sydney, Australia

My church is one of few high-church parishes in the aggressively conservative evangelical Diocese of Sydney. We try not to be mean, or defensive, or paranoid. I check your site every Tuesday (Sydney time) and forward it by email to about 60 parishioners because I so much value your insights and your irenic approach. Also, because the diocesan media do not give much of a positive slant on life outside Sydney, it is good for us to have a window into the wider Anglican world.

For my own part as parish priest, I have often often used your site and its links for resourcing research into prayers, hymns, addresses, people ... lots of uses! For me it is the standard first track to try.

Many thanks! I am so glad there was a gifted 20-something who got it all started, the worldwide benefit is wonderful, but it is nice to know something of the human story behind it all so it is never taken for granted or undervalued.

Every blessing,

James McPherson
St Mark's Anglican Church, Granville
14 December 2004

From Massachusetts, USA

I check Anglicans Online first thing early Monday morning for news from around the communion. I pass on essays, commentary, and sites to friends and I urge them to check the site out for themselves. I use resources like the source for the BCP, and generally advertise it as one of the best web sites available.

And -- I drink my morning coffee from an Anglicans Online mug.

Nancy Lowry
Grace Church, Amherst
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
14 December 2004

From New South Wales, Australia

Each Monday afternoon (around 2pm Sydney time) I log on to Anglicans Online and 'copy and paste' your weekly pictures/s and letter. Then I publish it -- under your Anglicans Online banner -- in our weekly News Sheet.

Our parishioners really look forward to your words of wisdom and encouragement. You see, our Parish is a 'little' (just a 'little'!) Anglo-catholic and don't follow the traditional Sydney Evangelical way. We have Sung Eucharist each Sunday, and on the last Sunday of each month, use the Book of Common Prayer service. And once a month, we sing the Prayer Book service of Evensong with choir in attendance; a beautiful service. So we are encouraged by your weekly 'Letters from America' -- thank you.

Graham G Roch
St Paul's Anglican Church (Parish of St George), Kogarah
Sutherland, NSW, AUSTRALIA
21 December 2004

From Oregon, USA

The ancient Greeks had a word for 'non-mean,' which is 'megalopsychia' or 'magnanimous,' which I think Anglicans Online nicely represents.

Mike Anthony
Christ Church Episcopal Parish
Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
19 December 2004

From Pennsylvania, USA

We are looking for a new rector. A rector of great quality. Bishop material, perhaps, as has been our tradition, several times in the past.

We are forming our parish statement, with God's help, to call a person who is contemporary, reliable, and fair. Who easily separates the mean and the non-mean. Who sees the truth about human beings. Who has not become overwhelmed by the dreadful loss of hope that has enveloped fundamentalist, conservative, small-minded America. We are indeed looking for a person with wit, with intellectual generosity and largeness of heart. We are indeed looking for someone with the willingness to think the best of someone who holds differing opinions.

St Paul's is a reasonably diverse congregation that struggles to maintain a magnificent physical plant: a neo-gothic Anglican edifice from the 1920s that on a typical Sunday holds at best 150 in a space for 600; a congregation that is financially supported largely by three widows in their 70s and 80s.

Your website, as extracted in the words above, has helped me personally to express to the Vestry the core of the Anglican tradition that separates us from the despair that buries our nation today.

I thank you for the insight of Anglicans Online, the top listing when, through Google, I entered the words 'Episcopal communion'.

Bob Busser
St Paul's Episcopal, Chestnut Hill
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania, USA
14 December 2004

From Georgia, USA

Congratulations on 10 years of ministry. I write to say how much AO means to me. Not taking any international or national Anglican publications, I rely on AO to keep me informed of events, attitudes, and opinions throughout our communion. The News Centre and Letters to AO rank most highly for me in this regard. I also look forward to the introductory remarks every week. I have found you to regularly capture with clarity the issue at the heart of the issues.

Thank you for you insight, humor, and example of loving service to others.

Christ's peace,

The Reverend Fr. Troy Beecham
Christ Church
Evans, Georgia, USA
16 December 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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