Published November 1, 2011

David Anderson http://davidandersonillustration.com

What next?
It was with more than dismay that I read in the Anglican Journal [Letters, Innovative examples, Sept. 2011, p. 4] of a parish in Brampton that has an option of receiving the sacramental presence of our Lord in a disposable paper cup!

This cross-fertilization of ideas apparently has neither theological nor liturgical boundaries. The next to go will be wine. Grape juice or even apple juice or water is used by some denominations. For a church that stands for Catholic practice, however, where the way we do things reflects the substance of what we believe, one would only hope that this is nothing more than a passing flight of fancy.

Incidentally, where in the chancel would one place the garbage cans for the reverent disposal of one’s paper cup?

The Rev. James Buenting
Kelowna, B.C.

Most famous chaplain
The special report on military chaplaincy in the October issue omitted reference to Canada’s most famous chaplain. Major John Foote won the Victoria Cross for his heroics at the invasion of Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942. And he won it without firing a shot.

The invasion of Dieppe, a small village on the coast of France, by 5,000 untested Canadian troops was a rehearsal for the invasion of Europe two years later. More than 900 Canadians were killed that day and a similar number taken prisoner.

A captain at that time, Foote spent the first eight hours of the invasion crawling around the beach, rescuing and treating the wounded while under fire himself from entrenched German gunners. He then passed up an opportunity to retreat from the invading ships and instead, as a prisoner of war, tended to the spiritual needs of the captured. His story was told in Canadian history classes for years afterwards.

Foote was born and raised in the village of Madoc, Ont., and graduated from the Presbyterian Theological College of Montreal in 1934, subsequently serving the church in Fort Coulonge, Que., and Port Hope, Ont. Released from German captivity in 1945, he continued as a chaplain for three more years. He later became an Ontario cabinet minister responsible for the province’s prison system in the Conservative government of Leslie Frost. He died in Cobourg, Ont., on May 2, 1988, at the age of 84.

Keith Kincaid

Bishops, hear our prayer
Call it what you will-open, generous or welcoming communion [The case for open communion, May 2011, p. 1]. The fact is, Anglicans are an episcopy: governing of church by bishops.

From what I understand, the recent unanimous decision by the House of Bishops to ask persons who wish to receive Holy Communion to first be baptized, is their first-ever unanimous vote. So, rather than using tasteless cartoons, inflammatory language such as “unwashed,” “stampede of the unbaptized to the communion rails” or “revisionist”[Sept. 2011, Letters to the editor, p. 5], let us remember these are our bishops. They need our prayers and support.

It is now up to all the clergy to encourage all unbaptized persons to make their personal commitment to embrace Jesus.

Terry J. Love

Good sense prevailed
Allow me, as an agnostic Anglican, to congratulate the Rev. Lee Lambert on his heartfelt and beautifully written reflection [Notes from a funeral, Oct. 2011, p. 6].

I once went to the funeral of the child of a friend, and the (Catholic) priest won my heart by quoting these words, “We aren’t here to explain this terrible tragedy or to ask God why. We’re here because we don’t know what else to do.”

He too had the good sense to get out of the way.

David H. Dutton
Sherbrooke, Que.

About time
How thrilled I was when the Gifts for Mission booklet fell out of my September Anglican Journal! It is about time that our own gift catalogue was distributed thus. I will certainly make use of it. Thank you!

Jennifer Wheeler

Counter-productive, that
I am disappointed that the World Vision Gift Guide has once again been inserted into the paper as direct competition for the Gifts for Mission guide from the Resources for Mission Department. It seems to me to be counter-productive to our mission to not encourage Anglicans to give with “an Anglican face.”

Bradley Smith
Deseronto, Ont.

Return to fasting
I commend the Catholic bishops of England and Wales for returning, on Sept. 16, 2011, to the obligatory practice of abstaining from eating meat on Friday.

By freely engaging in acts of self-denial, we make a statement that those in need are our brothers and sisters. This practice of marking Christ’s death on Friday with fasting and abstinence needs to be rediscovered and encouraged not only in England and Wales, but throughout the world.

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ont.

Grubby world of politics
Jack Layton well merited the national affection and respect his memory evokes in the Anglican Journal [A man like Jack, Oct. 2011, p. 4, and Remembering Jack, p. 5]. Although he and I would disagree strongly on matters political and economic, I recall the wise words of the German statesman Otto von Bismarck: “If you outlive a worthy opponent, you will find that you miss him.” Jack Layton was a worthy opponent and a fine gentleman. We will miss him.

However, your warm treatment of the worthy, politically “left” Jack contrasts sadly with the misconception of politically “right” conservatives (like me), held by many church people.

Please give some encouragement to conservative Anglicans who work to bring our faith and beliefs into the often grubby world of politics.

Frank Gue
Burlington, Ont.

From the heart
I am compelled to write regarding Mr. James Cowan’s letter to the editor [Let my people worship, Oct. 2011, p. 4]. It is an integral part of our life as people of faith that we speak the truth from a place of humility.

I am a deacon in the diocese of New Westminster. Bishop Michael [Ingham] is my bishop and I speak from my heart.

Bishop Michael did not persecute anyone. The leadership of the four dissenting congregations launched the legal actions. Several thousand Anglicans were not thrown out of their church buildings. Rather, several hundred chose to leave the Anglican Church of Canada. Thousands chose to stay.

Time and time again, the bishop and his staff offered dialogue and exploration as alternatives to legal manoeuvers. Time and time again, the bishop and his staff attempted to reach an understanding with the dissenting individuals and their supporters. All offers were rebuffed.

How terribly sad that we found ourselves in a position where we had to say, “If you want to be part of this family, you are more than welcome; we love you and want you to stay. If you cannot live within the rules of the family, however, and choose to move to another family, go with our blessing. But you don’t get to take any of this family’s property.”

Please know, if you are a past or present member of any of the dissenting congregations, you are welcome in any of the parishes in the diocese. You are welcome to worship freely. We’d love to welcome you home. We have much to share and learn from each other as we all move towards being the people God knows each of us can be.

The Rev. Alisdair Smith


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