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This page last updated 28 October 2007  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 Canadian 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 to 28 October 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.

Why a Lambeth Conference every 10 years? (Er, we've always done it that way.)

I just read the 'Tale of three Parishes' article. Lovely one. As a concerned Anglican, I do think that we should all be trying to combat this wind as schism that's threatening to leave us standing alone, each province clutching a BCP and not much else. Why, oh why, can't the Lambeth Conferences be held more frequently than at 10 year intervals? I know the Brits are big on tradition, but frankly, it's an anachronism in these days when the bishops no longer have to assemble by stagecoach, wagon, and steamship.

Obi Udeariry
St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Aladinma, Owerri
Owerri, Imo State, NIGERIA
22 October 2007

'Listen and keep watch'

Last week while I was still 'in recovery' from sitting through the debate on the blessing of same-sex marriages motion at Synod for the Diocese of Ottawa, I happened upon this gem from Canadian poet Archibald Lampman:

There is a beauty at the goal of life,
A beauty growing since the world began,
Through every age and race, through lapse and strife,
Till the great human soul complete her span.

Beneath the waves of storm that lash and burn,
The currents of blind passion that appal,
To listen and keep watch till we discern
The tide of sovereign truth that guides it all;

So to address our spirits to the height,
And so attune them to the valiant whole,
That the Great Light be clearer for our light,
And the Great Soul the stronger for our soul;

To have done this is to have lived, though fame
Remember us with no familiar name.

I found the sonnet a comfort, especially for the notion that we need to set aside more time to 'listen and keep watch' rather than fanning the 'waves of storm that lash and burn'.

Michael Mavis
St. Paul's Church, Almonte
Almonte, Ontario, CANADA
22 October 2007

How deep is your church's welcome?

'Behaviourally inclusive' brought to mind an occasion years ago in New Jersey when I was asked as a single man (not then being widely known as a recently partnered gay man) to join a panel discussing the congregation's outreach to various segments of the community and to involve those already members to more fully participate in programs offered.

These were the heady days of 'inclusive' — when the term, seen as politically correct, had a load of baggage I cared not to embrace. Nonetheless, I found myself using it with respect to behavior, how the members of those myriad groups within the congregation could include single folks more by how they acted than by how effusively they welcomed the same at the door. A 'zone of welcome', if you will, that opens its borders wide to truly (here’s that word) include, rather than exist at the door for form, yet which truly acts as a buffer to reinforce the existing 'in'.

'Words of Welcome to everyone present', what a refreshing change to 'Would visitors stand and. . .' There are enough places, enough time for differences. The Eucharist need not be one of them!

Lyle Clark
Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Saranac Lake, New York, USA
Tupper Lake, New York, USA
22 October 2007

Who leaves? Who cares?

Thank you for such an informative website. I am a non-practising Anglican, but still keep myself abreast of the Anglican news worldwide. I went onto a Roman Catholic news website and it saddens me to see that our brothers and sisters within The Traditional Anglican Church have requested full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and have not requested the same from the very Communion from which the stem.

It saddens me that we Anglicans just sit back and allow such to happen without a wink of an eye. It saddens me that our very bishops and archbishops — whom we see as the guardians of Faith — will not read this letter and many others which I and many of our fellow Anglicans with hope and prayer have sent in the past. I sometimes feel that our very Communion is doomed to destruction.

Damian Bellairs
No church at present, with sadness
26 October 2007

Hiding in plain sight

I enjoyed the editorial about visiting. (link) I just moved back to a new church where I had been a member nine years ago, so I knew what I was getting in to. It's a very cold and closed place. I was inspired to write this column for my previous church newsletter, of which I am still the editor.

The invisibles

'At [Dives’s] gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores'. (Luke 16:19)

When Dives strutted out of his gate, he probably chose to make Lazarus invisible. When we examine our consciences about 'the invisibles' in our life, we usually think of street people, like Lazarus. We may have been guilty of making people invisible. We at St. James are greatly favored in that we are very seldom treated as invisibles in our world.

How do you treat your siblings-in-Christ in church on Sunday? Do you look around for your friends and jump ’em like a duck on a June bug after the service and carry on intense conversations? And are strangers invisible to you?

Or do you look around the church for people who are strangers to you and jump on them and make them welcome, really welcome, after the service?

St. James is one of the friendliest churches I've ever attended. It's pretty good — but that’s not good enough. Look for 'the invisibles', folks just like you, friends you haven't met yet — and greet them after church.

'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares'. (Hebrews 13:2)

Richard Parsons
Christ Church
New Bern, North Carolina, USA
26 October 2007

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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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