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This page last updated 18 January 2010
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 11 to 17 January 2010

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express 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.

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Conquering kings their galettes take

Like Fr. Kelley, who wrote last week, I was also a bit intimidated by the galette des rois recipe, which is nowhere near as simple as a mere four steps would imply. But nonetheless I did decide to give it a whirl . . . and while it took a little while to prepare, it was indeed delicious, and the final result seemed very much worth the effort.

Julia Child has manageable recipes for puff pastry (pâte demi-feuilletée) and the almond filling (frangipane). You can then turn to YouTube for some good videos (in English or French) showing how to assemble the galette. This delightful pastry may well become a tradition in my home in future years--thanks for sharing about it.

To those who give it a try, bon appétit! And to all, bonne épiphanie!

Brian E. Coggins
The Chapel of the Cross (Episcopal), Chapel Hill, NC
Durham, North Carolina, USA
13 January 2010

Fire and ice

Purely a reaction to your Epiphany letter last week: Far from the ice and snow and freezing temperatures you have been experiencing, here in South Australia we have just endured our first heat wave of the summer (and a heat wave is defined as five days consecutively over 35 degrees Centigrade). Our five days went 36 degrees; 39 degrees; 41 degrees; 41 degrees; 43 degrees, with attendant grass fires and bush fires, some of them deliberately lit.

So to have read your letter about the ice and snow while I was hiding away from our 43 degrees and fiery sunshine, was an eerie experience.  I'm not at all sure which I prefer: our unbearable heat or your unbearable cold!

As I said, this is simply a reaction to having read your letter about ice and snow. Nothing profound. I enjoy your web site, especially the news from around the Communion.

Rev'd Stuart Langshaw
St. Peter's Cathedral
13 January 2010

Can you help?

Could I tap into the collective wisdom and experience of this group by requesting links to appropriate information about the grieving process following the death of a parent? I would appreciate any information about this process or suggested readings.

If readers have any appropriate information that they would be happy to share then they could communicate with me direct.

I appreciate the thoughts which we are given each week in thoughtful homilies by those who organize this website.

A. Bazyli
Kingsway International
14 January 2010

What sort of Courage?

I suggest that, before recommending the Roman Catholic organization Courage, Mr. Spencer do a little research. I was in that organization for over a year. It required celibacy (except in a heterosexual marriage), and a counseler in the organization put pressure on me to leave my partner of twenty years. Others I knew in this organization had similar experiences and were also told that same sex attraction is a personality disorder and that a genuine homosexual orientation does not exist and has no medical validity. Check Courage's homepage. They say that outright.

I hesitate to start a back-and-forth process of posting letters here, but I think it is important to correct misinformation.

Catherine Dillon
Formerly Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
Queens, New York, USA
11 January 2010

Fault lines?

I thank Anglicans Online for forwarding me David's email so that I can reply this week. David Brown's response is predictable of the fault-lines and fortress mentality which appear all too quickly in any discussion of SSA issues and experiences (in and out of church congregations), a confusion between pastoral and political solutions. His final sentence is a reminder of the cultural divide which is one of the less positive and pleasant features of any exchange of views. He writes 'I'm pretty sure that these are principles that Jesus Christ was all about.'

Many 'Christian' groups make similar bold assertions to know the mind of Christ so that they can bolster their own deeply held opinions. For example, David Corish and the disaster that was Waco, Texas and the Jim Jones Christian Community are examples of an arrogant interpretation of the same mindset which led to murder and suicide. Words such as 'exclusion' and 'dignity' need sharper definition (as do his assertions regarding The Courage Apostolate) otherwise they lend support to a futile 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' argument.

I am grateful to David and Catherine for their emails because they provide a platform where we can exchange views and offer our heart-felt responses and support. Even if we do hold different views! When we retreat to our own personal eyries, often out of an awful experience with the Church, we compound our pain and helplessness.

Both writers to and readers of AO might be surprised to hear that I have received a couple of particularly nasty, bitter, offensive and emotional responses directed to my email address; probably, I suspect, from the same person. Father Harry Williams, an Anglican monk, described such communication as an example of 'the consecrated claw'. (See 'Some Day I'll Find You', by Father Harry Williams CR)

Although a non-sequitur, I am reminded of two archbishops in the same country commenting on a recent war.  One said, 'This is is a just and holy war' and the other, 'This is a sordid trade war.' Is there a place for confrontation at the church door? I am not so sure. However, there is a place where David, Catherine, and the archbishops and I can meet and that is at the Throne of Grace" when we consecrate ourselves to His service saying 'Where He leads, I will follow'. While our individual journeys might be very, very different we can still offer our love and support to others who are also on the Road to Emmaus.

Paul Spencer
St Paul-of-the Cross, Dulwich Hill
13 January 2010

Happy to be of assistance!

It was a year on 13 January this week since I saw an ad in Anglicans Online for a vacancy in the parish I now serve as Rector. It was 1100kms from my home in Sydney and in a very different diocese. But the Lord had his plans and as a result of your carrying the vacancy, I sent off a very tentative email to the regional bishop. After months of discernment I received a letter of offer in June and began here following a commissioning on 27 November 2009.

Thank you for your part in God's call to this place.

And if you find yourself in this most beautiful part of Australia, please visit one of our two churches!

In fellowship,

The Rev Mark Calder
Anglican parish of Noosa, Brisbane Diocese
Noosa, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
15 January 2010

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Earlier letters

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



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