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This page last updated 29 June 2009
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 22 to 28 June 2009

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.

It all depends on the location of the petrol pump

'Yet our church is chock-a-block with objects a hostile observer could sneer at and call idols. We enjoy their presence, and we suspect they help enable in us some sort of psychological jiujutsu by which we can more quickly shed the temporal world through which we had to travel to get to church'. This letter really hit home with me.

I currently worship in a very plain church with a very low-churchstyle of liturgy. I worship here because this is where my grown daughter attends church. The people are pleasant, their goals and values match mine. But there are no 'objects a hostile person could call idols' except a plain cross over the altar. The church is noisy, the liturgy stark. Across town is a beautiful Anglo-Catholic church with many beautiful objects, celebratory music, incense; a church where I feel at home. Amazing what a difference the physical environment makes!I'm not whining — it is my choice to be where I am, but I am sure I could do better at making the best of it if the other church weren't so close.

As to 'don't think we would be able to focus on worship as successfully if we were on the asphalt in a petrol station and the priest was standing in front of the petrol pumps to lead us in worship', context is all. Some of the most meaningful worship of my life was in circumstances very like you describe, but in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. I ws so grateful for the arrival of an Anglican chaplain, after six months of a Baptist chaplain, a wonderful caring man, but one who thought that a great Christmas Eve service was singing Christmas carols, including Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and all the rest.

Ah well, I have learned that I can meet God in some very strange places. . .

Helen-Louise Boling
St Matthew's Parish, Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
24 June 2009

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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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