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This page last updated 15 January 2007
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. 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 8 to 14 January 2007

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.

'We are called upon to love our enemies, instead of making enemies out of our neighbors'

Thank you for the reminder in last week's essay of the profound need to act in obedience to Christ's commandments, especially those about loving our neighbors as ourselves (and not just those neighbors we find likable or with whom we agree). And, of course, we are called upon to love our enemies, instead of making enemies out of our neighbors.

The separation between ECUSA and (at least) Southern Hemisphere Anglicans is probably inevitable, as is the dissolution of ECUSA into separate denominations with Anglican backgrounds. Perhaps this will be better than what is going on now. Opposing factions become occasions of sin for each other.

If separation can occur with some degree of charity, that may be what is needed, and sooner rather than later. At least one parish has left the Diocese of Dallas in a manner that appears to reflect reasonably well on both the parish leaders and their former bishop.


Perhaps that can serve as a model for other parishes and dioceses facing difficult choices, as well as the national ECUSA hierarchy as it deals with inidividual dioceses.

Ted Gale
Calvary Episcopal (Indian Rocks Beach)
Seminole (Pinellas County), Florida, USA
8 January 2007

'Curiouser and curiouser' indeed

Just a word or two of appreciation for your editorial page which sustains those whose lot is to sustain others. 'Joyful obedience' is a fine example accompanied as it is by the beauty of the accompanying obedience plant.

I think as the life of the church becomes 'curiouser and curiouser' to quote an extremely wise and articulate Ottawa Anglican friend on the brink of schism we will need your steadying word more and more. Thank you.

Freda Binns
St. Mary's Church
Charminster, Dorset, UNITED KINGDOM
9 January 2007

Obedient 'to the only One worth obeying'

Wow! today's essay (8 January 2007) is a wonderful bit of synchronicity. I've been thinking a lot about loving obedience lately—and here you are, articulating so well what has been a kind of muddle in my post-Christmas head. Thank you so much for putting my thought into words. And the Van Dyke quotation fills me with joy and the desire to continue to try to be obedient to the only One worth obeying.

Happy Epiphany and thank you for your work!

The Reverend Christine Gilson
Trinity Episcopal Church
Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
9 January 2007

Calling all St Mary's churches

We are having to replace the rotting floor and pews in our mediaeval village church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Our population is about 350 and we need to raise £95,000. We are getting some response from churches in our area also dedicated to St Mary and wonder how to make email contact with others—possibly mainly the USA. Can readers give me some clues as to how to find these on the Internet please? Any suggestions will be helpful.

Ann Rigby-Jones
St Mary the Virgin, Ideford
8 January 2007

Holy Communion: not optional at important Anglican gatherings

I strongly support the letter of Richard T. DeVito (January 1) regarding the celebration of Holy Communion on important occasions. It has always been my belief that the Eucharist is amongst fundamentals of being an Anglican and whilst the Daily Offices, and the Occasional Services are beautiful (especially in 1662 BCP) they should never be used as acceptable alternatives in cases where a non-Anglican—even non-Church—public is among the gathering.

It disturbs me greatly that in this Diocese of Tasmania the annual Synod no longer commences with a celebration of the Holy Communion. Indeed, a proposal to re-introduce this was scorned-down at a Synod three years ago.

That a Synod believes it is able to do its work without first being strengthened by the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ through the Eucharist makes a mockery of the alternative appeal that we should just pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Those using an Anglican Church for certain occasions should not be allowed to decline for Holy Communion to be celebrated; and if they object that "we we will go elsewhere", they should be encouraged to do so!

Furthermore our clergy should actively promote the wonder of the Eucharist to their congregations so that, at marriage or at death, it is a natural expectation it will be celebrated within that service.

Trevor G. Cowell
Christ Church (Anglican) Illawarra, Longford
Perth, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
10 January 2007

Girl Guides cheerfully revisited

I just felt a need to defend the Girl Guides from your charge that we are "disgustingly cheerful." As a girl member and now an adult leader, I found the organization to be, in fact, the kind of joyful [one? a word is missing in the original letter] that you are advocating for the church. (And a remarkably high percentage of women in leadership positions in the Church in this part of the world, lay and ordained, have been active members!)

Heather McCance
Parish of Sharon and Holland Landing
Newmarket, Ontario, CANADA
10 January 2007

Ed. note: The writer of the letter was a Girl Guide. No disrespect was intended, but she does believe that a hearty, false perkyness can, in fact, be as unpalatable as false piety.

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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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