Anglicans Online
 Worldwide Anglicanism    Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
Home News Centre A to Z Start Here The Anglican Communion Africa Australia Canada England
New this Week News Archives Events Anglicans Believe... In Full Communion Europe Ireland Japan New Zealand
Awards, Staff Newspapers Online B The Prayer Book Not in the Communion Scotland USA Wales World
Search Official Publications B The Bible B B B B B
This page last updated 15 June 2006
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 5 June to 11 June 2006

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.

Alll sorts and conditions!

This morning, Trinity Sunday I was reminded once again of your front page letter of May 14. Here at Trinity in Swedesboro, New Jersey, we celebrated the baptism of three gorgeous babies, and welcomed 7 new households to our small church who have joined us in the last 6 months or so. That's not including the 12 year old who wandered in off the street a month ago and has served as an acolyte the last two weeks, and the Chinese woman who speaks no English but brings her baby grand-niece with her, and the young man recently returned from college who has decided it's time to explore faith for himself.

About a third of the congregation is new in the last 3 or 4 years; most of them are young families with little or no experience of the church as adults. They are often surprisingly generous, especially for people who have never heard of pledging before, and their enthusiasm is infectious. One parishioner recently wrote to our local newspaper telling of how welcome she and her family felt; as a result three new families showed up Easter day, one of whose babies was baptized today.

The danger of course, is that we, like many churches, are struggling for survival and so are tempted to see these newcomers primarily as numbers on a page or a solution to our budgetary woes. And so we have to keep refocussing our attention on reaching out, not just for survival, but because we as followers of Christ are called to invite othrs to join us in this journey of faith, to welcome everyone to life in God.

I'm not sure that we do anything particuarly unusual. We have a 222-year-old building which doesn't lend itself to powerpoint presentations (it does have doors on the pews, which are useful for containing young children!); we use the Book of Common Prayer and mostly pretty traditional music. But I think we do three things particualrly well. We have a couple of parishioners who are wonderful at making people welcome; we make good preaching a priority, connecting faith and everyday life, and most of all, we love kids. They are noisy and active, and they are at the core of our life together. And it's great fun!

Raewynne Whiteley
Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church
Swedesboro, NJ
12 June 2006

Horizontal rule
Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2007 Society of Archbishop Justus