Dear editor, I quote from your September editorial: ?Enter, then, Rowan Williams. He is deemed in many ways to be the antithesis of his predecessor. He is described as a man of high intellect…? You seem to be calling Archbishop George Carey a dimwit. It would be most gracious if you might share your insights on how to avoid such public display of internecine strife. James Ley Miami
Disturbed by Rowan
I have written to you concerning the newly nominated Archbishop of Canterbury.
I am very disturbed by many of the views held by Rowan Williams; and after reading that he had taken part in a pagan Druid festival, I felt compelled to write to the Journal. I feel, and I am sure that many Canadian Anglicans would agree, that he is not the type of person that should lead the world?s Anglicans.
I feel that the Journal should, on behalf of Canadian Anglicans, strongly protest the nomination of this man. If the church follows his views as leader, I feel that the church will lose many members. He obviously does not reflect true Christian values.
Ashamed of diocese
I am enclosing our cheque regarding the Journal, but I expect it will be our last donation as we are approaching 90 years of age and my husband is in an extended care home.
There is a new book out titled Don?t Go To Church and I have my name in for a copy when it arrives at our local bookstore. I think it may reflect some of my opinions because I think the bureaucracies of all the churches need to be examined.
I am thoroughly ashamed of our Anglican diocese in that they have decided to bless same-sex marriages. It mocks my marriage of 62 years that was blessed with love of two children and each other.
I am also ashamed of the Roman Catholic Church riddled with acts of deviation on the part of the clergy. The Christian churches as a whole need to examine anew their beliefs and faith.
W. M. Marshall
May an overseas colleague add a word of personal tribute to John Rye?
I first met John at Bolgatanga, Ghana in 1981 when I was a new mission executive traveling on behalf of the Mission Agency USPG, London, and immediately I recognized the strength of his catholic spirituality and the authenticity of his commitment.
From then on as colleagues together in Anglican World Mission our paths often crossed and we would frequently bump into each other at conferences, at an African airport, at Jarvis Street or at Partnership House in London. We became firm friends and later when I was at Lambeth his practical wisdom and long experience were a wonderful resource and support.
John saw people clearly, the good and the bad, and spoke his mind with clarity and glorious humour. That was the secret of his pastoral care and why people respected him. There was no room for sentimentality in his understanding of Christian love, and in this and the warmth of his friendship he bore authentic witness to the Creator he served.
In answer to Mr. Griffith?s letter re: A.C.W.
First: The Anglican Church should by all means encourage their A.C.W. Given the proper leeway, women?s organizations will purchase new items needed for their church; give donations to the community and outreach, and turn over a good portion of their earnings to the church at the end of the year.
Second: Forces people to be members? I have belonged to 4 A.C.W.?s over the years. Although all women of the church are classified as A.C.W. members, only those who wish to attend meetings do so. All people are asked for donations, baking or help at most large events over the year and the majority wish to help, but all have the right to refuse.
Third: As for ignoring the males, I sincerely hope not. The more we can get to help, the better!
Fourth: As for our money coming under authority of the corporation, do you not think women are capable of making right decisions?
Fifth: As for men joining, feel free, but personally, I wouldn?t want to join a men?s club.
PMC leaves a hole
I regret the passing of PMC magazine. It broadened my horizons and gave me part of my start in journalism, both as a writer and a member of the editorial board. It will leave a hole. If enough people feel that need, perhaps someone else will take up the cause and find a new, creative way to fill it.
Rev. Kenn Ward
Laity also matters
The presence of visiting archbishops and bishops in New Westminster to console the minority of parishes that opposed the motion to bless same-sex unions, obscure an important truth. It says to the public, as to Anglicans, that matters of ethics and theology are determined by the hierarchy acting as its members, especially its senior members, see fit. An uninformed public assumes that one bishop, one church, is the same as any other.
The decision to bless same-sex unions was undertaken by laity, priests and deacons as well as by the diocesan bishop. The involvement, especially of the laity, is entirely lacking in public portrayals of the squabble. We should be hearing from and seeing, (on TV), the lay secretary of synod, or the prolocutor, or the chancellor speaking in answer to these offshore self-appointed spokespersons for their national churches.
These uninvited Episcopal visitors ignore the fact that in Canada decisions are made by the whole church. They are rebuking not Michael Ingham, but the whole synod. How quickly we reduce the church to its episcopacy.
Let gays be blessed
If homosexuality is an unnatural degeneracy rightly and forever condemned by Holy Scripture and church tradition, then it is correct to want to deny to gays and lesbians any public acceptance of their horrible deviant relationships.
If, however, we now understand that homosexuality is but a variation within the spectrum of sexuality, normal if not all that typical, natural not willful, then the church must set about honoring those gay and lesbian couples who wish to declare before God and the congregation that they promise their lives each to the other, forsaking all others. Let them be blessed.
Saddened by loss
I note that bishop of New Westminster Michael Ingham continues on his dedicated path toward the blessing of homosexual relationships. This move has caused conservative bishops in the United States to express their ?greatest sorrow and alarm.?
I was baptized into the Anglican faith 81 years ago. I have seen the church buffeted by the secular world. G.K. Chesterton has written: ?We do not need a faith that changes with the world, we need a faith that changes the world.?
Anglicanism has always prided itself on the premise ?division without schism.? We will soon find out if the actions in New Westminster belie that statement.
As for me, I feel saddened by the possibility of losing my life-long church. I feel that it will not miss me, but as the church becomes more and more secular, and as the secular is based on greed and money, it may miss a considerable monetary contribution. Is this a threat? No, just an aspect of a decision that I may have to make in sorrow.
A forgotten people
I for one was heartened by the primate?s statement on the Middle East, although I have to admit it came across as somewhat one-sided. I thought of that as a necessary corrective. In the post-Holocaust era, our overwhelming sense of guilt at what was done to the Jews has made the Palestinians a forgotten people.
Your editorial raised concern over the unusually vitriolic tone of many of the responses to the primate. There is a bright side to this. Not so long ago, white Anglo-Saxon protestants would not have jumped to the defence of the Jewish people and the Israeli state. It is a mark of how far we have come that so many Anglicans reacted in passionate defence of the Israeli cause.
We should not lose that passion, but we should balance it with an equal passion for the Palestinian cause. In the lections during the summer, we have been reading the sad history of divisions amongst the heirs of Abraham: Issac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers. The bad news from the Middle East today has not improved since the primate wrote his statement.
All people of good will are called to work and pray for peace. Only God?s peace will bring healing and justice to all the peoples of that troubled region. The teaching of God has indeed spread out from Mount Zion, but the promise of a blessing to all the families of the earth has stalled. ?Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.?
The Pas, Man.
I happened to read the article A letter to Anglicans from the primate published in the May Anglican Journal.
To blame violence in the Middle East on the ?illegal occupation? indicates a profound ignorance and a lack of historical understanding. When I read such comments, I am left to believe that any dialogue, any discussion, any conversation on this topic is simply not possible. Hence, I will not enter into a debate. But I will ask one question: If Palestinians were so intent upon obtaining a state and not destroying the state of Israel, why is it that every opportunity given to them to form a state has been adamantly rejected?
There are times when an individual needs to take a stance ? to decide which side he or she is on. And, on this issue, I stand firmly opposed to the position of Archbishop Peers.