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This page last updated 3 November 2008
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 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 27 October to 2 November 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.

Our server computer appears to have lost most letters to the editor for a period of several weeks, due to a configuration error that we made when moving hastily to a new server computer on 2 September. If you sent us a letter during September and it is still topical, we encourage you to re-submit, and we hope you will accept our apologies for our software mistake.

What was Jesus accomplishing?

I loved your article on the work ethic. We do have to produce something in our working life, and the world would grind to a halt without someone doing something, but I am absolutely certain that the time I 'waste' in meditational prayer gives life and strength for the work day. And while that is a good thing, the time for meditation is more than just a spiritual energy drink to keep me producing. It is a time to feed the part of me that exists outside of production. Meditation helps me focus on who I am and who God is (still working on these). When all was said and done, people who had questions about Jesus, didn't ask him "What do you do? How many tables did you create today?" They asked him , "Who are you?"

One of the values of saying the same daily office day in and day out is that if my schedule gets crowded out, I have memorized much of the office, not the readings, surely, but the recitation of the preces and responses in the break room at work put even the most production laden environment in perspective. It is going to be even more vital to hold onto such intangibles in the near future.

Cheers for the good job you do, with or without your coffee!

Michelle Jackson ObJN
Trinity Cathedral
Sacramento California, USA
27 October 2008

I can both be abased and abound

I quote from today's message: "We are well aware of the Prosperity Gospel and the well-attended churches that teach it, and the lifestyle surrounding it, but it never seemed very Anglican to us. We suspect that as prosperity becomes farther and farther out of reach to us all, that attendance at Prosperity Gospel churches will suffer the same fate as did the attendance at 'Mainline churches'. "

Never was a truer word spoken. Here in Nigeria, as the economy worsens and prosperity recedes further and further out of the grasp of the ordinary person, professing Christian or not, there is a mass influx into the prosperity churches, whose message leans heavlily on the benefits to be obtained from God through faith, paying heavy tithes, and calling forth "whatever material benefit one desires". Somehow, even this does not seem right to my narrow Anglican soul, snatches from hymns and Bible passages such as "be content with what you have, little be it or much", "I can both be abased and abound", wriggle around in my mind, and prevent me from going down the prosperity gospel route.

Is character forged when one goes through trying times, as we are told? Or does God truly want us to avoid trials and tribulations because He loves us, as the prosperity gospel has it? I wish I knew.

Obi Udeariry
St. Andrew's Church, Aladinma, Owerri.
27 October 2008

Pray until you can't take it any longer?

In exercise, you can measure your progress. You can count the amount of weight you've lost. You can pray all day and you'll still have nothing to show for it.

The prosperity gospel is for those who want money; the mainline churches are run by and for those who've already arrived-and can afford to condescend a bit to those still working their way up.

Fred Preuss
Enfield, Connecticut, USA
27 October 2008

Well, they are on the bottom of this round planet, perhaps about to fall off?

I freely admit that I know next to nothing about the church in Australia. Would someone please explain to me if the Diocese of Sydney is as hopelessly confused as it sounds? It seems as if no one, at least among those making decisions, has any theology of orders. Is this really the case? Is it simplistic to say that deacons are not priests because they are not ordained as priests nor do they feel themselves called to the same sacramental ministry as priests? For that matter, why would a (vocational) deacon want to preside at the Eucharist? Further, it seems to me that to consider permitting lay presidency at the Eucharist is simply a way to ease the consciences of the ecclesiastical powers that be because they don't truly believe that the laity have any REAL ministry apart from ordination and the presidency at sacramental worship. (And certain people think the US Episcopal Church is bad!)

Carlton Kelley
Richmond, Indiana, USA
27 October 2008

(Ed: Do have a look at the article by Andrew McGowan that's in our Worth Noting section today.)

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


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