Featured letter: Oneness in Christ is celebrated despite different opinions

Published February 1, 2009

Dear editor,
“Why should we attend church?,” asked one writer (January letters). Why indeed?

My experience in the Anglican church has also been long (almost 70 years). When I recently returned to my parish of St. Luke’s in Ottawa after a few years away, I found myself welcomed, literally, with open arms.

Do we all share the same theological understandings? I am sure we don’t. In the summer when our rector experimented with worship in the round and the altar centrally placed, some found it meaningful but not everyone liked it. On Monday evenings I join a group which has begun meeting for centering prayer, while others continue in the fellowship and fundraising group they have belonged to for more than 40 years.

Our church houses a lunch club where the hungry are fed. Beneath our old roof, all are welcomed and nurtured in a variety of ways.

Twice a week, I meet with young children in an atrium, using an approach not well known to Anglicans: the Good Shepherd Catechesis. It is a profound way of “listening to God with children.” The children love coming to a place where we wonder at God’s boundless love. Some of these children, with their families, attend a downtown church that has just broken away from the Anglican Church of Canada. Are the children still coming? Yes. Do we still love one another? Yes.

Surely, the church is greater than any of us. The broken bread speaks of our oneness and our brokenness. Is it not a scandal when we refuse to be nurtured at one table?
Jennifer Camfield


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