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Hallo again to all.

All of us at Anglicans Online are devastated at the death on 13 February 2014 of our beloved Cynthia McFarland, who was not just the Managing Editor of Anglicans Online but its core and guiding light. For 16 years she set the tone, wrote much of the material, and reviewed everything we published here.

Beautiful from birth but shy by nature, there aren't very many pictures of her extant. Getting her to sit still in front of a camera was very hard. The picture at the right was taken by her friend Jay Blossom in front of her parish church, St Mark in Philadelphia, during coffee hour after a worship service circa 2011. It is the most recent picture we have of Cynthia at full strength, still able to make the 45-minute trip from her home to her church. And you can see into her soul if you look carefully. Thank you, Jay.

We've put her 400-word obituary on what was the website of her design business before she folded that business and went to work for the Diocese of New Jersey. Writing that obituary has squeezed almost all of the words out of us, but there seem to be a few left for AO today.

Our mailbox has overflowed this week-end with tributes to Cynthia. Here are two samples.

This from the long-ago Rector of her parish in upstate New York, slightly edited:

A cleric doesn't get many parishioners like Cynthia. When she showed up in my congregation I counted my lucky stars to have this striking young woman, beautiful and so educated, in my congregation. She had a good job, was an outstanding contributor, and knew Greek! Yes, more than I did. She had studied with dear Chalmers McCormick of Wells College and later pulled out of a graduate scholarship at University of Virginia.

She melded quickly into our rather mundane altar guild, giving inspiration to the pedestrian standing florist order by bringing switches of budding shrubs to the Palm Sunday array. She set about to straighten out our parish library. She sang in the choir. But more than that, she provided me with hours of serious conversation at a very high level. In time I became her confidant, and I was honored.

Over the time she moved from Lansing to Burlington, we kept in contact. I dearly loved her, as father to child, and shall keep her in my heart.

This from a retired priest in Virginia:

I wonder how many stories are like mine, stories most folk could not know. Way back in 1995 I was struggling to put together a web presence for two little churches here in Virginia where I was serving. Somehow I came upon Cynthia's name, perhaps in construction of the pages, perhaps in those early years simply in learning how to get them promoted -- just now so many years later I do not remember. What is etched in my memory is that Cynthia was so very gracious in response to me that a friendship ensued for which I am most grateful. No one would have reason to know about how very helpful she was to me, nor about the occasional emails we shared particularly during her husband's illness, and her own. I shall remember her kindnesses for ever. She was truly a sweet soul.

It is really hard to write this with Cynthia looking out at us from the screen, so we'd best stop now. If you have something to say about her we would love to have you put it in a Letter to the Editor. Every week when she reviewed this front page she used to wonder aloud whether the topic was one that would cause people to write back. Facebook and the world of weblogs have made Letters to the Editor rather archaic. We're rather archaic ourselves as goes the online world, but we know that Cynthia would love for us, her survivors, to hear from you and she would be delighted to learn that a front page that was about her had actually moved people to write an LTTE.

See you in two weeks. That is, if we can figure out how to keep AO going without our leader. Next week on Sunday we will all be heading home from the funeral in Philadelphia and will not be able to publish an issue.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

16 and 23 February 2014

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