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This page last updated 1 September 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 22 August to 28 August 2005

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the 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.

Which one of you was cut?

Who had the surgery? Our prayers for the one enduring pain.

Today's Proper 16 Year A readings inspired Dean Peter Elliott of New Westminster who was visiting St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, to speak of things to cherish and maintain, and other things that need to undergo re-interpretation and change for health and growth, as you mentioned in today's Anglicans Online letter.

The Reverend Timothy Makoto Nakayama
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle - Diocese of Olympia
Seattle, Washington, USA
22 August 2005

(Ed: We prefer not to identify ourselves individually, using the 'editorial we'. But thank you for your prayers.)

Time for surgery? Who would be the surgeon?

Wow, reading your August 21st commentary I had the sensation of breathing out after having held my breath for a very long time. These are the thoughts that I, and I suspect many others, have been afraid to think. More division within the body of Christ seems wrong, and yet...

I have not settled my own mind on these matters. I have recently been rereading John Westerhoff's Living the Faith Community, where he spends time trying to discern the meaning of the church's authority, and from whence it springs. He speaks of it deriving from the community itself, but within the wider communion there seems increasing disagreement on who that community is, whether the national churches individually or the communion in its entirety.

Perhaps it is time for selective surgery, but who will be the surgeon? And is the peace to be found amongst those who agree truly a measure of the health of Christ's body? Thank you for having the courage to name this lurking fear, and I hope that before we cut we all prayerfully consider what will be lost.

Jon White
St Michael and All Angels
Portland, Oregon, USA
22 August 2005

(Ed: one week after ankle surgery we are very aware of the downside, the pain and disability. The recovery and ability to walk again is just a dream of faith. But faith we have, and though the surgeon was but a mortal, God directs the healing. We are grateful to the makers of the Polar Care 500, who have made the wait for healing more bearable.)

Alas, poor church, I knew it well

You write this week (August 21) of "our beloved Anglican Church" and the anguish you feel at its present condition can be felt through your words.

And it is so! In Australia—and perhaps especially in Tasmania—the Anglican Church has copped a right old belting in recent years, much of it justifiable in the light of some pretty terrible and humiliating revelations about clergy abuse of young people.

But "all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" and Christ must be made known to the abusers as much as we should try to show the abused that this is not the way of Christ!

The Diocese of Tasmania has, under the leadership of its Bishop, John Harrower, made frank admissions about these matters and offered financial compensation where that has been sought. The damage has been severe.

But, "our beloved Anglican Church" is under another threat. The Church catholic and apostolic is being urged to throw off many of its traditions—in ceremony, in music, in the mighty expressions of worship found most fully expressed in the Book of Common Prayer. And even in "A Prayer Book for Australia". If only the ministry-teams would do it right! Instead, preachers are telling those in their congregations to chuck all this in and go where the music is rated by its decibel level and people shout and stamp their feet and the car parks are full!

And if we resist we are apathetic, blind and disobedient. The fact that we are there, in church, worshipping, praying, contributing alms and oblations doesn't appear to be enough, isn't even noticed!

Trevor G Cowell
Christ Church, Illawarra
Perth, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
25 August 2005

How can I find a church whose policies I agree with?

I am considering attending an Anglican/Episcopal church here in Illinois. I do not agree with the American branches that ordained the homosexual bishop, Gene Robinson, and I am wondering if there is any way I can find which churches in America have remained traditional, and do not support homosexual ordination?

Justin Buol
Deerfield, Illinois, USA
26 August 2005

(Ed: We recommend that you telephone the church office and ask them. If the church has a website, you can usually find the telephone number there; otherwise, look in your telephone directory.)

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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