Published June 1, 2011

Confusing shade of gray

As a life-long Anglican,
I should be in church. But my motivation is gone. Colour me blue. I found the editorial What colour is your church? [Apr. 2011, p. 4] interesting, but my parish is neither red nor green; it’s more a confusing shade of gray. We have a diversity of Sunday services and some really great outreach programs that suggest we are very green. Yet last year, the parish cancelled most of those services for the summer and failed to respond to my unexpected health issues, events that demonstrate its self-serving red side. My parish needs to focus more on the needs of its parishioners and the needs of the local community. Having lived in several places in Canada in the last 20 years, I fear this growing disconnect with parish life explains in part our shrinking congregations. Perhaps this realization is what enabled the Rev. Jane Fletcher to create growth at St. Stephen’s in Oldcastle, Ont. [Apr. 2011, p.1].
David Bowes
Peterborough, Ont.Small church, big ideasI read with interest What colour is your church? [Apr. 2011, p. 4] and was delighted when one of our parishioners who has been attending [St. John the Divine] for 45+ years invited me to read it and discuss it with her. We agreed that it would make a great discussion topic as we move into being a “small church” with “big church” ideas and the challenges that go with a relatively small leadership group.
Thank you for posing the question, and we’ll keep you informed when we move from “rainbow” to “green!”
Andrea Gailus
Squamish, B.C.Easter must be Easter
I found the article, Why don’t we use the ‘P’ word? [Apr. 2011, p. 5] interesting. But I must agree to Easter being called Easter although it’s apparent that the spiritual practices of Christian societies everywhere include both indigenous and Christian elements.The article mentioned that hot cross buns were banned because they might offend non-Christians. This was not likely the work of Muslims or Hindus living in England but of atheists. Atheism is just as responsible for the destruction of culture as some religions.
Glen Burrill
Williams Lake, B.C.

Did he forget Jesus’ parables?
David Puttock [Self-Absorbed, May 2011, p. 5] criticizes the March editorial [Putting job skills to personal use, p. 4] for its lack of religious language. Perhaps he has forgotten how Jesus uses everyday illustrations (parables) to illustrate the reign of God. At a time when religious language has become problematic for many, including Christians, we can welcome efforts to use ordinary experiences to lead us to new insights and understandings. Other responses would indicate that this was helpful to some Anglican Journal readers.
The Rev. Canon Peter Davison
Vernon, B.C.

War and peace
Gloria Paul’s letter [War and church, Apr. 2011, p. 5] is indeed food for thought. It reignited in me a passion for peace in the world. What if all the churches worldwide refused to participate in any way in war…withheld taxes related to war, said “no” to military chaplains and prayers from the pulpit for “our side?” What if we honour those religions that, historically, renounce war and practise peace?Impossible? Perhaps.They say one person can (and has) changed the world. Let that person begin!
Anita Bundy
Victoria, B.C.‘Grace’ is the word
I wholeheartedly support the practice of “open table” as suggested by the Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi [The case for open communion, May 2011, p. 1] but primarily because of a word that I have yet to see mentioned. The word is “grace.” Furthermore, the practice of Open Table might be the incentive needed to have a conversation around the rite of baptism itself. I would like to suggest that baptism evolve from the “living water” of the Samaritan women at the well, rather than the “being born in sin” and the “cleansing from sin” of John the Baptist.
The Rev. Michel Dubord
Richmond, Ont.

Remember the Puritans
Enthusiasts of so-called open communion appear to be grounded in Jesus’ invitation to enter the kingdom of God-and that is a good thing. Steeped in such spirituality, they appear to be acting out of their intuitive sense of what Jesus would do. The difficulty is that reality often can be counter-intuitive. In The case for open communion, [Apr. 2011, p. 1], [The Rev. Dr.] Gary Nicolosi’s argument for liturgical innovation is incredibly retro. The conceptual tools he champions are largely a contemporary rebranding of ideas from the pop psychology and new philosophers of decades ago. The assertion is that cerebral arguments, linear thinking and theological systems are out. What is cool is encountering the supernatural. History is full of outcomes derived from such an approach. Sometimes the outcomes have been limited to either the helpful or the harmless-but not always. The misadventures of the Puritans with the Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts are a perfect example of openness to the supernatural unrestrained by cerebral or linear argument.
The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis
A stone for the starving
[The Rev. Dr.]Gary Nicolosi’s essay, The case for open communion [May 2011, p. 1], is another nail in the lid of the coffin of the Anglican Church of Canada. Mr. Nicolosi’s arguments in favour of open communion are more than specious; they are an invitation to the uninformed to perjure their consciences. Inviting anyone (and his dog?) to participate in the Christian eucharist is tantamount to inviting your Jewish, Muslim and vegan friends to dinner and serving them pork without letting them know what they are being offered. Sadly, Mr. Nicolosi’s dumbing down of baptism and the eucharist are nothing more than the latest embarrassing examples of the bland leading the bland in the inevitable march to the precipice. We who are starving need bread and Mr. Nicolosi offers us a stone!
K. Corey Keeble

Tired rhetoric
I am concerned about the tired rhetoric of anti-nuclear protesters in After Fukushima: Does nuclear power have a future in Canada? [May 2011, p. 1]. The Anglican church, along with other faith groups, led an independent examination of the issues in the mid-1980s. The Interfaith Program for the Public Awareness of Nuclear Issues concluded that Canada’s nuclear power program was safe and morally sound. The Anglican Journal also erred in attributing Ontario Hydro as the owner of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. For more than a decade, Ontario’s nuclear reactors have been owned by either Bruce Power (Bruce Nuclear Power Development) or Ontario Power Generation.Dave Hardy
After Fukushima: Does nuclear power have a future in Canada? [May 2011, p. 1] draws most of its content from a professional anti-nuclear activist. Less than one paragraph is based on comments from someone in the nuclear industry. Respected academics knowledgeable about nuclear energy were conspicuously absent in the article. My perspective is based on having been a former vice president and general manager of the Canadian Nuclear Association. In the mid-1980s, I was an Anglican representative on the organizing committee of the Interfaith Program for Public Awareness of Nuclear Issues (IPPANI), which studied all aspects of nuclear energy over about two years. I recall the Anglican diocese of Toronto contributed some $5,000 towards that study. Jim Weller
Cobourg, Ont.



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