From bad to worse
The Journal [Jan., p. 3] story on varied responses from some Anglicans to the Vision 2019 task force report prompts me to comment.What was said: A diverse and inclusive church that welcomes people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation…Irrelevant: We have put that behind us long ago. Where I worship, we would be dead in the water without that orientation and that is likely true for every inner-city church in Canada.What was said: Mission and a church engaged in issues of social justiceEncouraging: However, we have some distance to go to match many other churches and to shake the pervasive image of us as the “Conservative Party at Prayer.” What was said: …a more literal interpretation of scripture….Frightening: For the love of God, let’s not even think about going down that road. We are not quite ready for the Christian Taliban.Hans-Juergen Kirstein
St. Albert, Alta.
Out, damn journalists
In January [p. 2], the Journal reported that the diocese of Montreal is allowing same-sex blessings. Why? Archbishop [of Canterbury]Rowan Williams has asked for a moratorium. Here in Vancouver, seven congregations have left, and there is schism in Canadian Anglicanism. How is this building up Christian community? You damn journalists don’t know when to stop, when to shut your mouths, when to be silent. As a priest working in a small congregation with dwindling numbers, I would like the Journal to report good, positive stories, that encourage us in our pilgrimage.
A man of faith
Thank you for the wonderful remembrance of Bishop Barry Valentine [Dec. 2009, p.13]. He served as the interim priest at St. Paul’s K Street, our parish in Washington, D.C. When the episcopal visit of a female bishop distressed the parish, he helped us re-focus and not take ourselves too seriously. He also brought [Archbishop] Michael Peers [then primate of the Anglican Church of Canada] to visit, introducing us to the Canadian Order of Service. Bishop Barry was also our friend and a major influence in my life and that of my husband. The world and the church are poorer for his death.
Two better than one
I am disappointed that “Letters to the Editor” span only one page now. They are the only thing worth reading in your newspaper. Please don’t give me another reason not to read it.
What I said
I’d like to thank the Anglican Journal for noting the National Conference on Theological Education [Feb., p. 1]. An article on Bishop Mark MacDonald’s address, however, [anglicanjournal.com, Jan. 21] quotes me as saying the scriptural narrative just isn’t speaking to my generation. This implies that I feel scripture has become somehow irrelevant to the cultural situation of people in their 20s and 30s. What I said, in fact, was that my generation has little to no knowledge of scripture and the church cannot assume such knowledge when engaging with young “unchurched” Canadians. Scripture remains relevant, but it is imperative the church find new ways to communicate its message.
Committed to safety
How heartening to read the report on the National Conference on Theological Education. As a priest who has assisted responses to allegations of sexual misconduct, I hope establishing standards for education will reassure our church community and the communities we serve that we are committed to the safety, security, dignity and respect of all persons, regardless of age, gender or pastoral situation. Our procedures could thus be seen as transparent and free from arbitrary exercises of authority.
Mary Louise Meadow
More Jesus, please
I found only one mention of Jesus Christ in the January issue of the Journal. And there were only two specific Bible references in the entire issue. Please, we would see Jesus. [John 12: 21]
Farm work worth saving
Corrections Canada is shutting down farm work and training programs at all six of our federal prison farms in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and two in Ontario.
It is argued that few prisoners will eventually work on farms. Anyone familiar with these programs knows that they teach responsibility, cooperation, patience and respect for self and others. These attitudes are all transferable to any sort of employment. Many programs pay for themselves with milk, eggs, meat and vegetables used in the prisons or sold outside.
More information is available at www.saveourfarms.ca. I hope that concerned Anglicans will phone or email their MP in support of continuing these valuable programs. You can find your MP’s local phone number or email at www.gc.ca. Click on “Parliament” then “current members.”