Since Jack’s passing, I have been asked many times what he meant to me. It may seem like an easy question but when the personal and the political are so intertwined, answers are difficult.
I have been overjoyed that so many Canadians feel the way I do, and dismayed by some media coverage. In all the secular analysis, the essential so often seems to get forgotten.
Before his death, I think Jack’s vision for Canada became more profound. I believe he came to the conclusion that politics should be about promoting quality human relationships and that obstacles to living the fullness of our relationships should be removed. Coming from a social gospel perspective, I am left wondering if this is a new, more spiritual definition of social democracy.
Because of this, I remember him as someone who was concerned about the quality of his own relationships. Someone who looked at you when you spoke, truly listened and always had time for the slightest problem.
I am very thankful and consider it a wonderful blessing that God saw fit to include such an inspirational person in my life.
Take money off the table
“Should we leave the money on the table?” by the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel [Sept. 2011, p. 7] introduces a very significant issue regarding the offertory.
In the one case, we give money for the good work of the church. I call it an offering. By contrast, in the offertory, we both give and receive. We offer our gift of bread and wine, the sum of human labour and production with all its strengths and sins. This offertory is then purified, consecrated and taken up into the divine. In the eucharist, it is returned as the consecrated body and blood of Christ, strengthening us for the journey.
This view emphasizes the unity of the spiritual and material world and underlines our Christian responsibility to rid the world of oppressive social regimes. This was the view of Fr. Hastings Smythe, founder of the Society of the Catholic Commonwealth. The Rt. Rev. Terry Brown elaborates this view in his thesis on Fr. Smythe.
I do not think money should be on the Holy Table with the consecrated body and blood of Christ.
Let my people worship
I was surprised to see that the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in regard to Bishop Michael Ingham’s persecution of four of the most vibrant Anglican congregations in Canada got so little press in your September edition. Truly [it was] one of the saddest chapters in decades, [when] several thousand Anglicans were thrown out of the church buildings they built, maintained and infused with Christ’s loving spirit. How can Bishop Ingham’s hurtful actions be reconciled with Christ’s loving spirit? It’s time the Journal stood up and, regardless of your view on same-sex blessings, said to Bishop Ingam, “Stop your hateful actions and let these people freely worship.”
Healthy criticism needed
I think it would be wonderful and very healthy for the church to articulate considered, careful criticism of the institution itself and its theology, policies and practices. The secular press is full of this kind of reporting and I miss it when it comes to the Anglican Church of Canada. I find many articles [in the Anglican Journal] self-serving and would consider criticism a welcome breath of fresh air.
The Rev. G. Welby Walker
“Christian communities in the Holy Land need our help” [September 2011, p. 1] failed to mention the real reason for the “exodus” of Christians from the Holy Land: Muslim intimidation.
See “The Forgotten Palestinian Refugees” in the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 28, 2009), or Google “Bethlehem First Baptist Church” which has been firebombed 14 times in the past decade. Please tell the whole truth. Muslims who are innocent of these crimes and who detest them need feel no shame.
The Rev. David R. Burrows
Aiming for Islam
The September issue allotted a half page to the event in Norway, “One Christian’s Perspective” [p. 1]. I have a serious concern with devoting such coverage to a single event in which the loss of life was only 76 persons. I believe the Journal has a responsibility to provide some information regarding the aims of Islam.
Every time non-Muslims accommodate an Islamic practice, we have “submitted.” We only need to look at Europe to see that there is no end to the demands by Islamists. And until there is public discussion regarding the long-term effect of this trend, it will continue.
Jerry Reid, Oakville, Ont.