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This page last updated 19 February 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 from 7 to 13 February 2005

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.

Going Dutch...

I enjoyed reading Brian Reid's pancakes article. I would, however, like to suggest that he further his education by visiting a pancake restaurant in the Netherlands. The Dutch eat pancakes for lunch or dinner. Their version, a thin, egg-rich batter, is available plain or with the addition of bacon, almond paste, apple, banana, pineapple, berries, or ginger to name a few options. They use thick syrup, similar to molasses. One pancake, served on a large plate dedicated to this fare, is a meal.

Is it lunch time yet?

F. William Voetberg
Grand Rapids, Michigan
7 February 2005

Mothering Sunday: in Lent, with Simnel cakes still in place

I always enjoy your columns and information. Brian's column on pancakes was wonderful. I like the pancakes I make, though they are nowhere as "extreme" as his! I like to make mine with part buckwheat flour.

About Anglican food traditions -- whatever happened to Mothering Sunday and Simnel cakes? I liked the Simnel cakes when we had them in my childhood, attending a very British-influenced parish outside of Boston. Of course, as I approach senility... I cannot remember if Mothering Sunday is near the end of Lent or Advent!

Louise Boling
St Andrew's Episcopal Church
Toledo, Ohio, USA
7 February 2005

More Sim

Your essay about pancakes was delightful. And as usual a helpful thought about its simplicity to encourage us to take an 'antient custom' and make it real today.

I wonder if the eating of some sort of cake on the Fourth Sunday in Lent is a wider custom throughout the Communion. I have experienced this in a number of culturally different provinces (Asia, the sub-continent, England and Australia) and there is a sense continuity about this tradition. I say "some sort of cake" because although the term 'Simnel Cake' is used to describe this traditional Mothering or Refreshment Sunday delight it varies enormously. It is amusing to turn to church cook books and find the authentic differs quite radically, particularly the placement of marzipan... if indeed it is there at all!

The Reverend Stephen Clark
Coromandel Valley Anglican Parish-Diocese of Adelaide
Blackwood, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
7 February 2005

Giving up pancakes as Lenten discipline?

As an Englishman married to an American, I have sampled both kinds of pancake, and enjoy them both. However, I wonder how many Americans will give up pancakes for Lent? My wife (a Southern Methodist until she moved to England) had always thought of Lent as something just for Roman Catholics, and thus not getting in the way of tradition American pancake eating by protestants. Brian Reid's excellent article didn't recognise that the English pancake has its origins in giving up the rich ingredients (eggs, butter and oil) as part of Lenten preparation (that's largely why we only eat them on Shrove Tuesday).

Edward Bunting
Saint Vedast-alias-Foster
8 February 2005

'The fire and the rose are one'

A remark cited on your front page inspired the following paragraphs I wrote to the secretary of an international seafarers' organization.

'At Anglicans Online they shared a comment they received that alleged there was no preparation for Lent as there are for other days in the ecclesiastical calendar. However, two thoughts occur to me:

(1) in the past there used to be a pre-Lenten season, and

(2) with such a short Epiphany Season this year preceding Lent, I was struck with the connection of the Last Sunday after the Epiphany having the theme of the Transfiguration, occurring three days before Ash Wednesday.

The Reverend Harold J. McSherry, a Canadian MIssionary who was at the Church of the Transfiguration in Hiroshima told me that the Japanese word for "transfiguration" is the same word (or ideograph) that is used to translate the word, "disfiguration". On the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, another nuclear blast of searing, burning, bright light and deadly radioactivity produced a mushroom cloud over the city of Nagasaki where Christianity had been introduced by the Portuguese Jesuit, Francis Xavier, about 400 years before, in 1549, the year Archbishop Cranmer prepared the first English Prayer Book in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace in London. It is an irony that so many of the Japanese Christian minority concentrated in Nagasaki died in the same city where Japan's first Christian converts had been martyred centuries before (whom we commemorated on February 5.)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred 3 days apart; Last Epiphany and Ash Wednesday are 3 days apart. In a curious way Transfiguration-Ash Wednesday and Hiroshima-Nagasaki are both in 3-day orbits, as we begin Lent to prepare for the Paschal Feast.

And so, as I write, my intercessions include an international sojourn to pray for the seafarers' ministries in these two great port cities on the other side of the Pacific'.

The Reverend Timothy Makoto Nakayama
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle
Seattle, Washington, USA

Middle-income families out of luck?

Having been raised an Episcopalian, I wanted my children to feel the same feeling of community that I felt growing up. Our church was nothing more then an extended part of our family. We cut down Christmas trees together, we went apple picking, we played after church with each other.

I did a lot of searching for schools and found a wonderful Episcopal school in Brewster New York. The community is just as strong at Melrose as it is at my church, it stands for everything that I was looking for. But the cost of Episcopal schools are out of reach for middle-income people. The school doesn't have a very big financial aid plan and the tuition has doubled in the last five years.

I have searched on the Internet for hours on end to find some organization that funds Episcopal education and have come up with nothing. I guess I am hoping that some where someone might have information on an organization that might provide financial assistance to help pay for Episcopal education.

Valerie Foran
St Barnabas
Mahopac, New York, USA
11 February 2005

Royal contradiction?

I really hate to sound like I have a burr under my saddle blanket, but I have to ask some questions. I have written before about the situation Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles created when she moved into Clarence House with him. I did not claim that they were "living in sin". But I complained about the 'appearance' given to the world. It bothered me that the future 'Supreme Governor of the Church of England' was living openly with his lover without benefit of marriage.

I am even more bothered by today's news release that they will be married but in a civil ceremony. I realize that civil ceremonies are commonplace in Europe. But does anyone have any consternation over the fact that the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England has sidestepped the Church?

It certainly warms the cockles of my heart to know that the Archbishop of Canterbury will be pleased to bless the union! Is this not the same Archbishop who forced Jeffry John to renounce his call to the Episcopacy "for Church Unity"? I am certainly glad I do not belong to the C of E. I will be interested to hear the rantings of Archbishop Akinola over this.

Br. Robert James McLaughlin, BSG
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
Ventnor City, New Jersey, USA
12 February 2005

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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