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This page last updated 31 October 2006
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.

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Letters from 23 to 29 October 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.

The problems of surety

Thank you for your very 'Christian' comments this week and always. I have worshipped in many places, and with people of many faiths, and have rarely felt unwlecome. If we can be so welcoming on a one-to-one basis, why is it so difficult for the larger bodies to get along?

But I do often wonder how is it that others can be so certain that they know exactly what it is that God wants? I try to follow my conscience, but am often not sure that I am truly doing the right and Godly thing. Is it that those of us who take a broader view think that maybe we are 'soft' on sin, are really misreading God — and that is why it is hard for us to stand up for our beliefs in the way that those with more surety do?

Helen-Louise Boling
Toledo, Ohio, USA
29 October 2006

On the side of Christ

. . . And also with you.

I think your last paragraph sums up the way many of us in the Episcopal Church USA feel about the grumblings within the last several years. Issues of Authority: that's what it gets down to eventually. What are we to accept as authority? The Bible? The Presiding Bishop (wait, let's not go there just yet . . .)? Tradition? Reason? What my evangelical friends at the Baptist church think? What my Aunt Clara thinks?

As one of those 'b*tts in the pews' such decisions are beyond the realm of my thinking — I leave such things to leaders to hash out. I just go to church, do my service, sing, play, read the lessons and prayers on my Sundays, receive the Body and Blood, and when I leave go about my daily life and work. I'm sure some would take me to task for not choosing sides. 'Choose you this day,' as one of the e-mailings I get put in large letters. I have. I serve Christ, as was spoken for me at my baptism and reaffirmed, by me, at my confirmation. Doesn't matter where, not to me. I like to believe it's the service one gives that counts; or rather: that one serves. Not where or within which faction.

Bob Frederick
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Panama City, Florida, USA
23 October 2006

Well, we didn't say it

Sigh... another cheap shot at Sydney in your news summary: 'The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a white-knight offer that would save the New England Girls' School in the Diocese of Armidale without selling it either to the Presbyterians or to a corporation whose board includes the Bishop of Sydney (who is considered by many supporters of that school to be essentially a Presbyterian).'


The Reverend Mark Calder
St Andrew's Roseville
23 October 2006

All Souls and the Battle of Okinawa

Two weeks ago your front-page letter about an American penny reminded me of the Japanese Yen and my pastoral work in the English language congregation in Okinawa, Japan that I wrote about and you graciously published. The AO letter of October 22, 2006 about All Saints’ and All Souls’-tide reminded me again of All Souls' Okinawa congregation because in our Church Calendar, the day after All Saints’ is observed for the 'Commemoration of All Faithful Departed'. I discovered that the English language All Souls’ congregation in Okinawa had been 'Dedicated in Memory of All Those of Every Nation who Died in the Battle of Okinawa 1945', a variation on the theme.

On April 1, 1995, the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa began to be observed at All Souls’ Church. Two daily Services were held on 77 of the 84 days: the period of the Battle of Okinawa. The Battle began on April 1, 1945 which was ironically Easter Day that year. With the Bishop’s permission, we lit the Paschal Candle, said prayers in English and Japanese, sometimes singing 'Amazing Grace', and with the help of many American, Japanese, Okinawan and Korean volunteers, in two Services every day at noon and at 6 p.m. of over an hour we engaged in the 'Reading of the Names' of over 234,000 names, a list the government of Okinawa Prefecture compiled from American military sources, Japanese military records, and civilian records and sources in Okinawa. All Souls’ Church was permitted to copy these lists which were used to observe the solemn “Reading of the Names”. Each year since that time additional names have been added that have been discovered and read on June 24 – Okinawa Memorial Day – when the Battle ended.

The Reverend Timothy Makoto Nakayama
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle
Seattle, Washington, USA
23 October 2006

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Earlier letters

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


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