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This page last updated 28 November 2011
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 21 to 27 November 2011

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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Will it always remain a mystery?

Yes, Advent is a "pivot point", but the looking behind and ahead is on a much larger scale than you imply (tho' I know the other view is there). In another sense, Advent can be the "reset button" for our spiritual lives, since it focuses more on waiting and a new start than on activity (in contrast to Lent).

I love Advent possibly more than any other of the church seasons, and wrote an essay a few years ago in an attempt to sort out my own busy life. I had managed to dodge most of the commercial pre-Christmas busyness, but as a chorister, was routinely ahead of the season due to rehearsals. If I may share the closing from that short essay, it might explain a feeling that I hope some others share.

What I think we forget is that all beginnings start out in nothing, in an apparent emptiness, and that we must not rush to fill that void. Instead, our task in Advent is to cultivate emptiness, sweep our lives clean, and wait for the Spirit to fill us. We are not to be "in the spirit of the season", but have the Spirit in us. Only thus can we be rightly directed as we progress to action.

Just dates on a calendar, not corresponding with the actual time needed for preparations? No. Advent is not really a time for us to get ready for Christmas, and all our temporal preparations are incidental. It is a time for the Holy Spirit to make us ready for Christ. We wait for His coming, past and future, but if we can empty our hearts and minds of busyness, we can welcome Him now and always.

As always, love your site! A blessed Advent to you and all my fellow readers!

Frances ("Robin") Drake
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
Herndon, Virginia (Fairfax County), USA
22 November 2011

(Editor: We'd love to see your entire essay, if you'd be willing to send it to us.)

Would you settle for the iPad eBook edition?

One Advent wish is to get a copy of the recently published Hymnal of the Anglican Church of the West Indies or find a way to purchase that Hymnal online.

Anton Vanterpool
St Alban's Parish, Washington DC
Alexandria, Virgnia, USA
26 November 2011

(Editor: We're looking, we're looking. And, no, alas, there's not an eBook edition, either.)

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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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