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This page last updated 14 November 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 November to 13 November 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.

Scottish liturgy online?

Hello Friends :) Just a request for information... I want to know (and you surely will know who can tell me) if the new C of E Common Worship resources are also used in the Scottish Episcopal Church. If not, where can I find the Scottish liturgical materials? Ideally I'd like to read them online, but in print media if not. Many thanks, Jason Haddox

Jason Haddox
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
Morristown, New Jersey, USA
7 November 2005

(Ed: The Scottish Episcopal Church has its own liturgy; it's online here.)

Who is my neighbour?

This is a poem of mine that appeared a few years ago in Ministry Matters, a magazine produced by the Canadian Anglican Church. I thought you might find it an in-sync response to last week's editorial.

The Man in the Ditch

You are not the hero here.

You are the survivor – robbed and beaten up
and stripped, your very self ripped off,
your naked, bleeding body left for dead,
tossed like a piece of rotten fruit
into the ditch.

You hurt too much to wonder
who the bandits were,
(though later some will call them zealots
with a thirst for occupation,
trying to convert you to their cause by force
and deeply sorry afterwards.)
For now, you are the helpless done-to
and this parable is yours.

The minister who came upon you
didn’t minister, but crossed the street.
So, too, the other one – the great official
kept aloof.
We can only guess their reasons
for this rank neglect.
It’s certain nobody identifies with these.

Next comes your enemy,
the one you hate like poison,
and if you were clothed and whole
and saw him in a ditch
you would be tempted to pass by.

This is the one who weeps with pity,
lifts you up and cradles you
and wipes the blood away
and carries you to where help lies,
who pays your way with all he has,
who promises to pay again


he is your neighbour in this story
(which was given to you
back when every question
had an unexpected answer.)

Mel Malton
St. John's, Ravenscliffe
Canada, Ontario
9 November 2005

Challenging those in power

As a loyal Episcopalian, the wife of an Episcopal priest, and a subscriber to the Muskegon Chronicle, I was dismayed by the news about the IRS investigation of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. This baseless investigation can only have a chilling effect on debate in our democracy. Doctor Regas' sermon does not cross any line that would violate the tax-exempt status of the church. Churches are free to discuss any political issue that they want to. They are not free to advocate candidates or parties. All Saints has a written policy against campaign intervention that is a wise policy for any non-profit organization. It was followed.

Churches should not allow their first amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion to be taken away. Jesus dared to speak to political issues in his day. He was a fierce opponent of war and violence, including the violence by which the rich oppress the poor. Like the prophets of Israel, Jesus dared to speak challenging words to those in power. Like John the Baptist, he was executed for his trouble.

I wonder whether the IRS will pursue with similar vigor the churches and radio stations that publicly taught that Mr. Bush was the "man God has chosen to lead us." Both major candidates fell short of the teaching of Jesus with regard to war and peace. God is opposed to this war--and to all wars. I pray that one or both of the major parties will nominate a peace candidate in 2008.

Judy Fleener
St. Paul's Muskegon
New Era MI USA
10 November 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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