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This page last updated 3 March 2014  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 the two weeks of 17 February 2014 to 2 March 2014

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.

There are often comments about our front-page letters on the Anglicans Online Facebook page. You might like to have a look.

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In memory of Cynthia McFarland (See our edition of 16 February 2014)

I am the Dean of The Cathedral of St. Andrew, in Honolulu. I first read Anglicans Online when I was at General Theological Seminary in the 1990s. I have been addicted ever since. The cover letter each week was like a letter from a family member. I looked forward to this in every place I served but especially when I was living in Cape Town, South Africa.

I knew that Cynthia wrote many of the front pages and I loved them, particularly for her love of the Church. It was a love in spite of the imperfections and a love that Cynthia expressed in the Church (all of us) becoming more of what God intended us to be - in our own unique Anglican way.

I did receive an email or two from her and they were lovely. As one who has survived cancer, her courage during her illness was inspiring.

I will read AO every week still, but though I never met her in person, reading AO without Cynthia at the helm will be different.

Requiescat en Pace Cynthia, thy good and faithful servant!

Walter Brownridge
The Cathedral of St. Andrew
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
17 February 2014

Cynthia McFarland is only known to many of us by what she has given us, fruitful, enlightening, encouragement. Though an ancient pensioner, the least I can do "in lieu of flowers" is to send a small donation for a work so wonderful (I hope others will do the same) - adding my little prayers - for her, and you, and all who were close to her - to the no doubt many prayers of others. (And I for one appreciate Letters - in Anglicans Online and they are certainly a popular part in our newspapers here, a contrast to the dreadful "comments" that one knows will often follow anything faithful that appears in secular newspapers online.)

John Bunyan
S.John's, Canberra & King's Chapel, Boston
Campbelltown, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
17 February 2014

I was shocked and saddened when I opened AO tonight to learn of the tragic loss of this lovely person who I felt like I knew. For years I have eagerly anticipated AOL's arrival and twisted the arm of any Episcopalian who would listen to please subscribe.

I can only imagine the sorrow of you who knew Cynthia and her late husband. Please try to carry on with the extraordinary insight your weekly issues provide.

Hank Holman
Christ Episcopal
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
17 February 2014

Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia Mc Farland. I am however, immensely grateful for what she has done for the world wide Anglican Communion by bringing us Anglicans on line and I feel I want to express my thanks for this wonderful means of communication which is so important to our Communion.
We must be very thankful for the vision to conceive the concept, the regular time consuming hard work in preparation of the weekly lead pages and the resilience in putting up with the (occasional) vitriol from those who do not agree with your writing, thoughts or opinions.
I pick up more news, views and thoughtful challenges from Anglicans on line than I do from any one source locally. Cynthia is yet another Anglican who used her God given talents and ability for the service of her Church and the people it encompasses. Anglicans on line is a great tool for evangelism and should be used more in helping us all spread the Good News.
We thank God for Cynthia's life, for all her talents and ability and all that she has been able to give to us all.

+ May Cynthia rest in peace and rise with Christ in Glory

Graeme Bailey
St James', King Street, Sydney
17 February 2014

Dear Editors of Anglicans Online,

Please note the following:

The Feast of Thomas Bray, 2014

In Memoriam

The Bishop in charge and the Council of Advice of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, meeting in Montpellier, France, give thanks for the life of Cynthia McFarland and express their gratitude for her generous contributions to the life and mission of the Convocation.

We ask that this be communicated to her family and friends.

As your longtime columnist, I too am stricken. Cynthia got me to write for the Church, cajoled me, edited me, until something readable started to come forth. Now I am asked to write regularly for other platforms as well, including the Huffington Post USA and France, as well as blogs, etc.

Thanks to Cynthia. Over the past seventeen years, she and eventually her husband and AO collaborator Frederic became very good friends of mine. Her parting leaves a hole in so many people's lives.

Yet knowing the pain and struggle of the past several months, how can we not celebrate her following her Lord into Larger Life? Is it not this hope that we share that is the raison d'être of Anglicans Online and the Church it supports?

Oddly enough, the latest column you hold is on the question of the afterlife. She liked it, she said.

So, as Cynthia would say, 'Right Onward.'

The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon
Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
17 February 2014

(Editor: Bishop Whalon, we hope you will forgive us for the delay in processing and publishing your latest column. You probably are aware that we received it just a day or two before the trip to the hospital from which she never returned.)

I was so sorry to hear of Cynthia's passing. She was always friendly and supportive of me, despite my troubled relationship with the church. She offered advice without judgement, and support without condition, and was one of those whose words to me always seemed to fit for the bettering of my condition and of those around me. That's a rare gift. We communicated infrequently, particularly as my ministry has taken me over the years less and less into Anglican circles, but our communications were always valuable to me. Blessing be on her soul, family and friends.

Kurt Messick
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
17 February 2014

Back in 1995, I volunteered to assist in the archives of our Diocese. Cynthia had been appointed archivist.She was a wonderful mentor. Over the years, as I worked on our historical records, I could not help but think of Cynthia. I was appointed archivist in 2005 upon her leaving. I will forever be indebted to her for being such a great teacher.
Rest in Peace my friend.

St. Mark's, Syracuse/Diocese of CNY
Liverpool, New York, USA
17 February 2014

We remembered Cynthia this past weekend in our Prayers of the People here at Trinity Parish. Her name was read with the names of the other faithful departed and, I'm sure, no one else in that service knew who she was.

I've been on numerous incarnations of the old Anglican email list since about 1995. In that time I was blessed to read her thoughts and ideas and feelings on a variety of issues.

During General Convention in 2003, it was my honor to finally meet this delightful woman. We had a large meal together; so many people I'd grown to 'know' through the email list. Cynthia was passing out business cards for AO, and for the name of that incarnation of the email list. She was smart, funny and in constant motion. We chatted briefly, no more than a few minutes, but that moment remains with me to this day. We only knew each other from pixels on a monitor, but in my heart I knew she loved, and was loved, by many.

Staff of AO, please know and remember this: The wounds of loss never heal, but time and Grace salve awful pain.

Deacon Jon Egger
Trinity Episcopal Church, Independence, MO USA
Blue Springs, Missouri, USA
17 February 2014

I was very sorry to hear of Cynthia's death. Even though, like many others, I only ever ' knew' her online, I felt drawn to her warm wisdom and intelligent sharing of our faith.
Let light perpetual shine upon her,

Margaret Campbell
St Bartholomew Anglican Church
18 February 2014

I grieve with you. I knew Cynthia only through Anglicans Online, but I have felt her presence and inspiration in every issue. What grace she had, and what an effect on the lives and thoughts of so many of us who read AO faithfully. The best tribute to her will be that you keep this going. My prayers are for God's consoling presence with all of you.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Christine Gilson+
El Dorado, Kansas, USA
19 February 2014

Condolences for the loss of Cynthia McFarland - a wise, compassionate and thoughtful leader whose presence will be deeply missed by readers of AO!

David Fisher
St. John's, Irving Park
Naperville, Illinois, USA
1 March 2014

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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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