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This page last updated 7 July 2008
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 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 30 June to 6 July 2008

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.

All the letters last week were in response to our question about bishops and their activities. We wrote: 'We do not often give homework to our readers, but we wonder if you have seen Anglican bishops whose churchly office is confirmed by their behaviour toward their fellow-bishops, whether it be in kisses or kindness of some other kind'. Here's what we learnt from some of you:

Peace in Maryland

You asked about bishops exchanging the peace, etc. and especially in the context of Peter and Paul. I had the very good fortune to vest and process at the consecration of the Reverend Canon Eugene Sutton as Bishop of Maryland this past Saturday (the Feast of Irenaeus). Word was that there were 20 bishops of the Episcopal Church present. All the bishops from Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, DC; previous bishops of Maryland and the Bishop of Long Island were ones I recognized and of course the Presiding Bishop. I can attest to a hearty exchange of the Peace among the bishops present!

Father Chris Cunningham
Good Shepherd Church, Bluemont
Leesburg, Virginia, USA
30 June 2008

The ABCS of carrying baggage

I began studies at Virginia Theological Seminary in the fall of 1997. A fellow student told me how she had come to be a student there. The previous year, she attended a ministry weekend designed for people considering attending the seminary. As she arrived looking for a particular dorm where she was to stay, she saw a casually attired man walking along the sidewalk and rolled down her window, asking if he knew where the dorm was located. he did and pointed to it. As she pulled up at the dorm, the man took her bag up to her room and placed it by the door. She thanked him and settled in.

That night she learned that the man was then-Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who was a visiting fellow at the seminary. She decided then that VTS was right for her as any seminary that had the Archbishop carry ones bags had to be the right choice.

The Reverend Frank Logue
King of Peace Episcopal Church
Kingsland, Georgia, USA
30 June 2008

Anglicans and Lutherans dance in Canada

In response to the activities of bishops: The Waterloo Declaration was signed a number of years ago as the Full Communion Agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada. The then Primate (The Most Reverend Michael Peers) and the then National Bishop (The Reverend Telmor Sartison) not only embraced each other, but also danced out of the worship together.

I can't find any copies of a video online that you could use as a clip, but the article at the following address does talk about it. It definitely was a sight to behold.

Colin Cameron
Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church, Burlington
Burlington, Ontario, CANADA
3 July 2008

An Anglican weather report, not chanted

1) What do you mean "cool of the day"? Coldest austral winter, my colonial oath! Over a foot of snow on the (Victorian) Alps, grey days enlivened by 3.75 minutes of sun, winds so fast that we haven't had one day without Wind Warnings–Storm / Gale / Strong — take your pick. Solstatio Brumali-juro! Showers that promise an end to the 14-year drought but just blow over into annoying drizzle. Enjoy your sunshine! You won't have it for long. And on a personal note a type of cold that causes not coughs and sneezes but watery eyes and a feeling of lassitude.

2) The contrast between Pauline and Petrine was new to me. An apt metaphor for the times.

3) If I had a quid for every time I'd seen a headline in the media screaming the forthcoming split / schism I'd have $25,670. The Church is wider than the ideas of the narrow-minded media. Do not let them panic anyone into anything silly. And this too will pass.

Steve Duke
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
3 July 2008

'Hello, My Name is Saul'

Great cover essay about Peter and Paul. But you perpetuate the notion that Saul of Tarsus changed his name when he became a Christian. Like most Greek speaking Jews of the diaspora he had both a Hebrew name, Saul, and a Greek name, Paul. The two names sound alike in English but not so much in the originals. Note that even in the latter parts of Acts, he is still called Saul when in Jerusalem dealing with the Aramaic speaking church.

Michael Merriman
Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas, Texas
Plano, Texas, USA
30 June 2008

Holding to the centre

I think the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is one of the finest Christian gentlemen and bishops I have known of, at least in recent Anglican history. He cares for all the bishops of our Communion, even those who spend, seemingly, hours excoriating him. He never responds with anger, but carefully, respectfully, and with what seems the patience of Job. He is striving to save a Communion, the two extreme wings of which are striving equally hard to destroy it, all the while remembering a call to live and preach the Gospel, raise up the fallen and downtrodden, and break the oppression of the World, the flesh, and the devil.

Father Walter Van Windsor
Trinity Church
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, USA
30 June 2008

Peter and Paul . . . And Paul and Jack

In your letter on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, you asked to hear about bishops whose churchly office is confirmed by their behaviour toward their fellow-bishops. One of your earlier letters about companion relationships between dioceses drew positive attention to the relationship between my home diocese and the Anglican diocese in Kajo Keji, Southern Sudan. This is indeed an extraordinary companion relationship that is firmly part of the life, heart and soul of both dioceses. The bishops of both dioceses, the Right Reverend Paul V. Marshall and the Right Reverend Anthony Poggo absolutely "confirm their churchly office by their behaviour" toward each other. It is inspirational and motivating to witness. I can not speak firsthand to the reception that their example receives in Kajo Keji, but I can attest that when Bishop Anthony visited Bethlehem last year the depths of God's love was evident in the relationship forged by these two bishops.

During this past year the Right Reverend John P. Croneberger retired and settled in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Bishop Paul embraced Bishop Jack's arrival in a very public manner. At our diocesan convention in October the delegation unanimously approved the resolution to appoint Bishop Jack as Assistant Bishop. This was lead by Bishop Paul and clearly embraced by the diocese. Bishop Jack is a vital important part of our diocesan life and community. That may not have been the case but for the behaviour of Bishop Paul and the reciprocation by Bishop Jack. These are clarion examples of the kindness by bishops that you inquired about. We are blessed in our diocese to have a bishop who leads by example.

Raymond Arcario
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
1 July 2008

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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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