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This page last updated 15 March 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 8 to 14 March 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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“Traditional Anglicans to join Catholic Church”

I have to say I think this a positive move. As a dyed-in-the-wool Anglican Communion Anglican (as ‘twere) it seems to me far better that these fellow Christians have a comfortable home where they can settle down again to being doers of the Word and perhaps – dare I say it, in all charity – get a life instead of expending their energy sniping at their former Anglican fellows. And instead of being marginal sectarians.

As a cradle United Church of Canada person, till I discovered a to-me more satisfying and perhaps – well, again, to me – less boring form of religiosity in the Anglican Church, I’m all in favour of Christians drawing in to churches rather than sects (to use some Romish pejoratives) and if that is Roman Catholicism, well, so be it. We Anglicans and Presbyterians and Lutherans and other mainstream western reform Christians can hardly complain, given that our forbears were disgruntled Roman Catholics.

On a not wholly different note, I received an email from a couple of my indecently plentiful aunts and uncles (time was that middle class liberal Evangelical Protestants had large families) making inquiry about just when assorted Christian denominations dated the “founding” of their churches. It was prompted by a standard-issue Eastern Orthodox manifesto as to only Eastern Orthodoxy having been “founded” on Pentecost, and schismatic sects like Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheranism and all us such rabble having been “founded” much later, on the assorted relevant dates.

I won’t burden you with my careful but obvious answer. The part which I think bears sharing was this: “Could you fwd to Mac and get his opinion as he seems to be wound up in things celestial (I don’t have his email and he uses such big words I can’t follow him).”

It occurs to me that as much pleasure as I take in AO’s weekly front page, which is always thought-provoking and almost always tells me things I hadn’t known but delight to learn, my Uncle Tom might have a point as to my own self which AO could – I don’t say should – consider. Are we talking to ourselves and none other? Do we become so scholarly and highfalutin that others “can’t follow”?
Please don’t think this a criticism or even a suggestion as to change: I love the front page as it has developed over time and I vastly look forward to reading it every Monday. But maybe – just maybe, mind – others than only me might consider being just a tad more demotic.

Mac Robb
Holy Trinity, Fortitude Valley (occasionally)
Brisbane, Australia
8 March 2010

Getting it all out there

Is it not time that the Church stops pulling itself apart and take up our Lord's Great Commission (Matthew 28;16-20 ) to bring all people to God's redeeming love? Too much time and energy has been wasted in "party disagreements".

For nearly forty years, I recall discussion and argument about a list of issues: a Constitution, Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision, Ecumenical and Churchmanship issues, not to mention the Ordination of Women to the three Orders of ministry over a period of years. And we continue to live with Human Sexuality and Lay Presidency. Surely we each bring our gifts and talents and our very being to Our Lord for his service. How those gifts are packaged is really not up to us. Why can we not live with our differences?

For hundreds of years the Church has lived and progressed with a wide variety of humankind doing his work on earth leading and being led in the Church he gave us. For hundeds of years no one questioned the sexuality of those who offer for ministry. Why must it happen now ? Obviously, there needs to be some criteria for selection but again hopefully that has always been the case

I am fairly sure that Gene Robinson was not the first gay man to be episcopally ordained. So, why does he take the brunt of some peoples' scourging? I believe that The Church faces much greater harm from those who want to move away from the fundamentals of true Anglicanism and turn us into Cromwell's soldiers to finish off what he started all those years ago.

Millions of hours of energy have been wasted over the years by those who want to change our ways when we all could have been happily working towards the same goal; albeit, as Anglicans in slightly different ways. When the average non attender of Church hears of all the arguments that go on between the various strands of church, is it any wonder they do not want anything to do with The Church and or organized religion? If all this "false energy" had not been wasted on infighting and bickering, perhaps our Diocese of Sydney would be 160 Million dollars wealthier with 10% more people in church as the Body of Christ

Let us wipe the slate clean, work up our strategies and move on to follow Our Lord's Command. Then too, hopefully Anglicans who think about their faith will accept that Lay Presidency is not an option, even if you are a Deacon. I conclude with some wonderful words that I borrow from the Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street, London in the most recent Monthly Parish Paper "For God's love is not an emotion but self giving and self giving is the sort of participation in the Mission of God, which is most persuasive."

With Holy Week and Easter imminent, I believe it is timely to look at our priorities. Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle within us the fire of your Love, renew a right Spirit in us O God, that we may renew the face of the earth

Graeme Bailey
St James', King Street, Sydney (NFP)
10 March 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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