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This page last updated 5 September 2016  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 the week of 29 August — 4 September 2016

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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Hospitality and the Eucharist

Sadly there are clergy by the droves who believe that "radical hospitality" is welcoming the unbaptized to receive Holy Communion. These folks cite our Lord's eating with sinners and strangers, etc. but fail to realize, by my lights, that this is a false equivalency. Real hospitality would welcome someone into our midst, determine their needs, and help them to become a part of a community that brings them to the Lord. Baptism, despite our often touted baptismal covenant, has been discarded as a real, living, life giving sacrament that makes us into humans who are then able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

If people wish to practice "radical hospitality" invite the homeless into your homes and your churches. And, by the way, has no one realized that the unbaptized are not banging down our doors to receive Holy Communion?

Fr. Carlton Kelley
Grace, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
30 August 2016

Thank you for your article on radical hospitality. One of the reasons I am a hospital chaplain is because I believe that we are called to radical acceptance and radical hospitality. The church will struggle with this concept as long as they conclude that ministry begins and ends at the altar. Even in our communion with wrestle with the validity of "open communion" wherein anyone is welcome, baptised and unbaptized, to come and share in the table of fellowship. In the same way Jesus was challenged to broaden his grace by the gentile women who reminded him that "even dogs can gleam from the scraps of bread that fall from the table" we too must be challenged by a world in need of far more than scraps of grace and compassion. Radical hospitality is such a means as to embrace others, as Christ, with the dignity of God’s love.

The Rev Donald Shields
Grace Church Markham, Ontario, Canada
29 August 2016

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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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