Letters to the Editor

Published January 1, 2001

Foundation sorryDear editor,

Thank you for the coverage of the Anglican Foundation.

We have served the Anglican Church throughout Canada with all of our strength. We have also been most grateful for the support we have received from members and benefactors.

By my oversight in an interview, an amount was mentioned with regard to the estate of a very humble bishop. I am most sorry that this happened and take full responsibility for this tragic error.

Bishop Kenneth Maguire had the vision to support the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund as well as Anglican Houses (Beverly House and Street Outreach Services), and to provide Christmas gifts to retired priests who are pensioners of the Synod of the Diocese of Montreal in its present boundaries or their surviving spouses, using the Anglican Foundation to administer the estate.

Here at the Anglican Foundation we are most grateful to be entrusted to serve Bishop Maguire’s wishes and will continue to do so.

Canon John Erb

Executive Director,

Anglican Foundation

The other side

Dear editor,

I’ve read a great deal about the abuse in residential schools, but would like to tell the other side as I saw it. I did not teach at Gordon’s, but was primary teacher in Punnichy, a small village in the midst of three reserves – Gordon’s, Day Star, and Poormans. This was in the late 1940’s. Almost every week I went out to Gordons when a staff member was returned after his half day at home in Punnichy.

I thought the pupils at Gordon’s were so lucky – living in a nice red brick building with central heating, water and electricity – conveniences we lacked in the village. Brothers, sisters and cousins all living together, getting the education required by law, learning about health and cleanliness and getting enough to eat. Older girls also learned to cook, bake, wash and sew. Older boys were taught agriculture, care of animals, growing gardens, etc.

If the children were abused I saw no signs of it when I visited.

There was a big difference between the life of the pupils at Gordon’s and those in the village whose parents had “bought their way off the reserve.” I saw native women looking for food at the back of the stores and wondered if their children at home were healthy. The youngsters at Gordon’s were looked after and probably alive today because of it.

Many of my friends were called to work in residential schools – Gordon’s, Old Sun, Lac La Ronge and Aklavik. I appreciated the letter “Unfair to teachers to condemn system” written by Rt. Rev. Eric Bays in the October Journal, but wondered from Karen Comito’s “Fine work” if she had ever been in a residential school.

Betty Cappleman


God forcing changes

Dear editor,

In her November letter, Bernice Logan asks if I (and I am female, incidentally) had worked in a residential school.

The answer is no. However, I don’t need the experience of working in a residential school to respond to the pain of the people who did, anymore than I need to experience famine to feel for those who live in the Horn of Africa, or to suffer the loss of a limb to be opposed to land mines!

I agree with Ms. Logan that not all residential schools were horrible. A former colleague on the Rupert’s Land diocesan council, attended a residential school in Dauphin Man., and has nothing but praise for the Anglicans who ran it.

I also have two friends who attended the kind of residential school that was horrible, where they were beaten for speaking Cree (the only language they knew) and where they were taught that the traditions and religion of their people were “satanic”.

The point of my letter was to express the hope that God is re-shaping the Church, that we have been in error – not only with residential schools – but in many ways (not the least of which is smug complacency!) It is still my view that God is forcing the changes we have been reluctant to make. After all, our faith is not just about life, it is also about death and resurrection.

Rene Jamieson


Gays need prayer

Dear editor,

Am I the only one scratching my head? I refer to the latest article that I read in the November 2000 issue – “Lambeth erred on gays, liturgist asserts” by Rev. Paul Gibson.

I was always taught that the contents of the Bible were an unfailing word of God, penned by men who feared the Lord, under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

What should be a Christian’s response to this touchy issue of homosexuality? I feel we get a clue to this from examining the New Testament account of Jesus’ encounter with two women during His time of earthly ministry. If we could somehow get into the skin of the women accused of adultery or the Samaritan women that Jesus met beside the well, I’m sure we would sense Jesus’ unmistakable love, caring, compassion for us as human beings. But I’m certain we would not leave that encounter with the feeling that Jesus blessed us in that lifestyle, that He put His stamp of approval on it, that it did not matter to Him how we continued to live. All of this has been capsulized in the common saying that Christians are to follow Christ’s example and “Hate the sin, but love (with agape love) the sinner.”

Therefore, Christian churches need to welcome homosexuals and lesbians into their midst with the “love of Christ”, but make it clear that they are expected to seek prayer and counselling in order to be able to refrain from continuing to practice this lifestyle. In no way should we be blessing these same sex partnerships; and in no way should we be ordaining homosexual clergy where they can appear to legitimize this lifestyle from the pulpit.

Don McClintock

Sarnia, Ont.

Native problems worsen

Dear editor,

I lived in the settlement of Innuvik NWT for three years and was involved with the Church.

Our Anglican Hostel Stringer was operated by the government under the administration of the Anglican Church – opened in 1959.

The children were about 8 to 10 years of age. The staff was excellent – so many dedicated people. The children had every opportunity for a good education.

The problem children I worked with were the ones living with their parents – neglected, with head lice and skin infections.

I believe that since the residences have been closed that there are more problems now among the natives. There is a famous saying; “If we try to live in the past, we will never have a future.”

Hazel Thompson

Trenton, Ont.

Journal needed

Dear editor,

I notice in the November issue of the Journal that donations to the Journal are vital.

This certainly comes as no surprise as we see the possibility of millions and millions of dollars coming from the pockets of church members in order to (hopefully) accomplish the “healing of those subject to many ills and imagined ills.” In this Orwellian society the word “forgiveness” seems to apply to the church, and not to the aggrieved. It seems to me that when a strong one hurts a weaker, it is the strong who should admit sorrow, and the weaker who does the forgiving.

It sounds very similar to days when “indulgences” were paid to the church for forgiveness of sins. It is patently wrong for us at this time to clothe ourselves in sackcloth and ashes, as it does a great disservice to the many men and women who gave their time to educate the Indian people so that they might enter the twentieth century as full and equal members of the new society that was evolving.

We know that practically all those millions will go to the greed of those promoting the use of our secular law in the mistaken belief that money will cause a healing that must come only from spiritual sources.

In any event, I rely on the Journal for information on much of what is happening.

Fred C. Potter

Rosetown, Sask.

Hands off hymnbook!

Dear editor,

I am most upset at many of the changes in the new hymn book particularly to “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” Why would the mindless editing committee change “sons” to “years”? To be politically correct as to gender?

How do they get away with changing the poetry from the way it was written by the authors? They are likely fortunate that most authors are deceased, otherwise further upset would be upon their heads.

I have a list a mile long of the idiocy of the book’s overall design which is too long to inflict on your readers. From comments, there is no doubt that I am not alone.

W. Glen Cawker

Burlington, Ont

Orthodox the same

Dear editor,

In the November issue of the Anglican Journal, Rev. Paul Gibson is quoted as writing of “the bibles of the Orthodox churches, which differ in the number of books they accept.” This statement requires clarification.

As noted by renowned Orthodox scholar Timothy Ware, “the Orthodox Church has the same New Testament as the rest of Christendom.” For the Old Testament, Orthodox Christians accept the version known as the Septuagint. It includes the same 39 books listed in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, which occur in modern translations of the Bible plus the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha (referred to as Deutero-Canonical books.)

Like other Christians, including Anglicans, the Orthodox may avail themselves of different translations of the Bible. The well known Orthodox scholar Fr. Stanley Harakas commends to Orthodox readers of English the same Bible translations known to Anglicans – King James Version, Revised Standard Version, New English Bible, New American Bible, Good News Bible, and others too numerous to mention. Fr. Harakas notes that Orthodox Christians seeking a Bible in English should choose an edition containing Apocrypha.

It should be remembered in any case that it was the Christian church, acting through its councils, which selected the books, which are included in the Bible. This is particularly important with regard to the New Testament, since the oral traditions of the church existed before the definition of its canonical writings.

K. Corey Keeble


No gay disciples

Dear editor,

In your November edition you published an article headed “Lambeth Erred on Gays” outlining the views of a Rev. Paul Gibson who enthusiastically endorses the blessing of same sex unions and the ordination of homosexuals.

He claims that some views of the Bible are erroneous and in consequence I presume he would have us ignore the many references contained therein that “homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God.”

Yes, undoubtedly we should welcome all into the church as Jesus welcomed all those whom others rejected, but it stretches one’s imagination to believe that he would enlist a practicing homosexual as one of his disciples.

Further erosion of the Bible becomes more apparent as churches of many denominations now dismiss or ignore the Genesis created by God. Instead they stand mutely to one side allowing the ideas of evolution to be instilled into the minds of our children.

P. Broadbent

Sauble Beach, Ont.


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