Letters to the editor

Published October 1, 2003

Leaving Coronation Street behind for church

The priest from St. Clement’s in Toronto and I have had many conversations. He was not aware of my previous critical letter (September letters). We just talked about forgiveness in general.

Then several other things happened. First, I ran into a friend – the wittiest sidesperson in the city – and it occurred to me I missed seeing him while I was lounging around and watching Coronation Street on Sunday mornings.

Then there were the forest fires out west. I wrote to another friend out there. She said that the best thing I could do to help the people out there was to pray.

Then I thought about changing the “church of the common sense” into the “order of the Common Sense.” Then every one could join.

So I am returning to St. Clement’s church and I will watch Coronation Street on another day. And I am working on my Order of the Common Sense.

As to offerings, I will give what I can afford.

Mary Cassells


Performance was better

Dear editor,

A notable omission from the article “Church investments fall victim to market” (September) is the actual investment performance of the Pension Fund in 2002.

The fund is not invested with “the bulk of its investments in equities” as the article states, but in a diversified mix of bonds, North American and international equities, and real estate. In 2002, these investments recorded an overall loss of 2.4 per cent in the year. This result bettered the fund’s performance benchmark by 4.9 per cent and ranked in the first quartile of the universe of balanced fund managers. In other words, the Pension Fund of the General Synod went through one of the worst investment years in a generation with a relatively small loss in its investments and posted better results than 75 per cent of its peers.

In a balanced report, that surely should be worthy of mention.

Ivor E. Quaggin

Chairman, Board of Trustees

Pensions Committee

Shut it down

Dear editor,

I agree with Brian McGregor-Foxcroft when he suggests that after Archbishop Michael Peers retires, the expensive Anglican church headquarters should be closed down (September letters).

Consider the ramifications when our primate goes to the Episcopal Church of the United States begging for American funds (U.S. bishops hear Canadian financial appeal; September). How demeaning this is: “ … we are inviting the financial participation of other provinces of the Anglican Communion.” The primate “said he anticipates contributions from outside Canada would be used for the financial restoration of the national office and dioceses and for the aboriginal healing fund.”

We can’t afford a mea-culpa penchant for taking on debt – and then go mitre-in-hand asking others to pay off the consequences. The Anglican Church of Canada was born in self-reliance; let’s keep it that way.

John E. Marion

Beamsville, Ont.

It is about love

Dear editor,

The responses to Bishop Terry Brown’s May article are varying degrees of negative, though most try hard to be just. Were there no positive responses?

I am troubled that most Christian debate around “the gay issue” totally ignores serious science about sexuality. Anglican pronouncements in recent years see a dichotomy between “being” and “doing.” It’s OK to be gay, just don’t do it! (One gay comedian responded “It’s OK to be Catholic, just don’t practise it.”)

Bishop Brown was right about one thing. It is about love, and different ways of loving.

Church leaders call for “tolerance” towards gays and lesbians. As Christians, why not go all the way and offer acceptance – the fruit of love?

George Parker

Newport, N.S.

Nothing to talk about

Dear editor,

I don’t quite understand what you think there is left to discuss when you state that opposing sides should “stay at the table” (September editorial) to discuss the profound differences between those who support the acceptance of homosexuality and those who don’t. Those who support the acceptance of homosexuality in the church have broken with 2,000 years of Scripture and tradition, and some 500 years of Anglican theology. You may call it presumptuous, embarrassing or arrogant, but short of repentance from this apostasy, there is nothing left to talk about.

Paul McCusker

Colorado Springs, Colo.

But for the Christians

Dear editor,

The amount of energy that some are currently expending on the one issue of same-sex unions is appalling. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. He did say a number of things about the importance of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and helping the poor.

If the church would invest similar passion into abolishing hunger and homelessness, and similar aggression into pressuring government to change economic policies, there would be no one in Canada without food, clothing, shelter, or a job.

But compassion costs us emotionally, and correcting social injustice costs money, whereas hate is cheap.

I often think that Gandhi was right when he said “All the world would follow Christ, if it were not for the Christians.”

Roderick McAvoy


Hold it together

Dear editor,

Four hundred years ago, the church was riven by a controversy analogous in many ways to the current disagreement over the subject of homosexuality.

Galileo supported the Copernican Theory that, rather than the sun going around the Earth, the appearance of solar movement was caused by the rotation of the Earth. The church supported what seemed to be the obvious position that the Earth stood still and everything else in the firmament went around it. Galileo had to recant his position or risk being burnt at the stake.

Today, much of the religious establishment is holding to the position that homosexuality is abnormal, in spite of the fact that the scientific community is almost unanimously of the other opinion.

In time, it will be generally accepted that homosexuality is no more abnormal than left-handedness. Let’s hope that the Anglican Communion can hold together until that knowledge has had time to penetrate.

R. S. McKegney


More broken

Dear editor,

It is my hope that the Anglican church in the Province of the West Indies and other like-minded Anglican provinces will disassociate themselves from decisions made particularly by the Episcopal Church of the United States to ordain an openly practising gay man. Bishop-elect Gene Robinson claims that other Christians are not affected by this decision. I suggest that he not speak for other Christians for I sit in a pew in the Caribbean and am deeply affected because I can no longer worship in a communion relationship with the diocese of New Hampshire. This hurts because our church is now more broken.

I pray that as we all ponder the ordination of persons in same-gender unions and other difficult issues of our time, we seek and receive God’s continued forgiveness and guidance so that what we do and how we act is in accordance with God’s will and not that of our own.

Andrew Woodroffe


WASPish terms

Dear editor,

I was recently disturbed by the use of a term I had not heard for years. A priest of colour with considerable training and experience went to an Anglican church to enquire about a position and was told, “We are Anglo Saxon.”

In my teens, I heard the expression White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Though I was one, I didn’t like the expression then and am appalled by it now at age 79. How many can actually trace their ancestry back to the Anglo-Saxon age? What about the early Britons, Romans, Jutes, Picts, Danes and Normans who invaded England too?

It is bad enough that we have fractured our Lord’s body into so many denominations without having a colour barrier as well.

What reception would Jesus have if he came into our churches today? Would we accept what he would have to say to us? Would we like the colour of his skin?

Amy Pandachuck

Barrhead, Alta.


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