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This page last updated 19 August 2012  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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.

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Letters from 13 to 19 August 2012

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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Do you mean that someone actually read our mission statement?

Your article on The Church Traveler's Directory hit home for me this past weekend when I was visiting out of town. There is the Internet, of course, to help find various churches in the vicinity, but often the websites are somewhat vague about church practices, how they "do" liturgy.

Of the five I looked at, I don't think but one (the farthest away, naturally) actually advertised themselves as an Episcopal church, with the usual logo. All five were guilty of obscuring the type of service one may find there-- it did take some digging and careful reading of "what we believe" web pages and careful reading of times of services to get a handle on what I would face while there. It took some careful choosing to find the one I attended (an historic church), which apparently offered something for everyone-- traditional, blended, and contemporary. A good bet for a traditional service is usually (not always) the earliest service. In my case, it was spoken Rite II.

I know of another Anglican website where they have something called Mystery Worshipers who visit various Anglican/Episcopal churches in the US, Canada, the UK, and elsewhere and report on the experience. Alas, none to be found for the area I attended. Quite handy, though not quite a Michelin's Guide, or even a AAA Guide.

It would be handy if the websites were a bit more forthcoming about liturgical style. There's nothing to be ashamed of, far as I can tell, to declare one's church as more orthodox, traditional, contemporary, happy-clappy, omnivorous, etc. Church webmasters may want to have a look at what their sites say right up front. Perhaps I am a difficult "customer," but there's nothing wrong with being up-front about who you are and how you do liturgy. If you're embarrassed about who you are, maybe it's time to rethink your mission statement?

Bob Frederick
Church of the Ascension and Holy Trinity
Pueblo, Colorado, USA
13 August 2012

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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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