The Anglican Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Preference is given to letters under 200 words. All letters are subject to editing for length, grammar and clarity. Please include a mailing address with all letters.
Who forgot whom?
Do people simply forget the church? Or does the church simply forget people?The October editorial poses the first question; I would like to answer the second.In January 2005, my husband died unexpectedly of complications following open-heart surgery. During those awful days, the minister of his church (I am not Anglican) was very kind and supportive. He helped with many difficult situations and conducted the Anglican funeral rite with a dignity that my husband would have greatly appreciated.As a memorial to my husband and in gratitude for the minister’s kindness, I placed a note and a generous cheque in the collection plate on the first Sunday after my husband’s death. I fully expected that the donation would be acknowledged publicly; however, I waited and nothing other than the cashing of the cheque took place.Finally, I contacted somebody on the finance committee of the church. I heard nothing officially then and still have not, although I did receive a personal note of thanks from the minister.The next communication I had from this church was a statement about the deficit and another plea for donations! Again, the memorial donation I had made was never mentioned. In the same week, I also received an envelope for a Thanksgiving donation.The same mail brought yet another solicitation from the Anglican church my husband used to attend in another province. Again, I made a substantial memorial donation to this church earlier this year.Other than these efforts to secure yet more donations, what interest have these churches, their ministers, or their congregations shown me during my first year of widowhood? None.In this case, it certainly cannot be said that the church has never asked. The problem is that they have never answered. Not with the good manners and civility required to acknowledge an unsolicited donation. Not with the Christian charity one might expect in my circumstances. Not with the due diligence required to keep a donor happy.Maybe it is really worth thinking about.
Hugh McKellar’s letter, entitled Why people ‘forget’ the church (November Journal) indicates that he has perhaps forgotten the Anglican Foundation of Canada, which, from its beginning in 1957, has provided a reasonable path for conserving capital “so that the church get the benefit, but never control or ownership of it.”Through loans and grants and awards from designated trusts, the foundation provides support where the need is greatest and for programs and ministries vital to the church’s mission as the Body of Christ. As for the capital, “due diligence” is the foundation’s watchword.
Canon A. Gordon Baker
Acting Executive Director
Warts and all
How refreshing to read Canon Gerald P. Loweth’s October letter, Grateful to be an Anglican. Although part of my family has deep Anglican roots, I was not raised as an Anglican. I was drawn to the Anglican church in adulthood by precisely those factors – Catholic tradition, Reformation changes and value of intellect – identified by Mr. Loweth. Hopefully, his letter will help remind us of “the big picture” that can be obscured by the concerns and conflicts of the moment. The Anglican church, warts and all, has immeasurably enriched my life and I, too, am happy to be a part of it.
No one will believe us
I was stunned when reading your article entitled New West gets contested properties (September Journal). Stunned by the action taken by the diocese of New Westminster against their separated brethren in the parishes of St. Andrew’s and St. Simon’s. I believe that no real Christian who tried to follow Jesus’ teaching could sue anyone for anything, let alone material possessions. When the church’s establishment takes action like this, how can the rest of us proclaim the love of Christ to the world? No one will believe us.
Rev. Rae Kiebusinski
Ear Falls, Ont.
Re: Arctic diocese bans gays from employment (September Journal). If I asked bishops Larry Robertson and Andrew Atagotaaluk, both of the Arctic, who made them, would they not say “God?” If God made all of us, then we were made the way He wanted us to be for his own specific reasons – sexual orientation included. The Bible tells us that we should all be doing the work of the Lord; so, if you refuse these people the right to serve in God’s house, are you not telling God that He is sinning by creating people whom you consider imperfect and unsuitable to serve not only God but you? Where in the Bible does it suggest that mortals have the right to criticize God for his seemingly imperfect handiwork?Have we not enough discrimination in the world without bishops Robertson and Atagotaaluk and now the Pope creating more? Surely one of the tasks of the church is to stamp out discrimination, not make it.
We, the congregations of St. Benedict and St. Augustine, Besao, Mt. Province, Philippines, thank you for sending the Anglican Journal for more than 15 years now. It is the most important paper we receive; we read all the articles in it, then we pass it to other missions to read. It is the only link between your church and our deanery. It reminds us of our first Bishop Charles Henry Brent who was a Canadian and one of the best bishops of our church. The paper is excellent in its journalism and editorials.We had a special thanksgiving mass Oct. 10 in our church celebrating the 130 years of your publication. We prayed for all of you; keep up the good work.Though we cannot send any donations this time, for you know we are one of the poorest of the missions, we beg you to continue sending us even past issues. We pray God will touch the hearts of those who paid our subscriptions to continue for Jesus’ sake. The paper helps us a lot in our evangelism. We are still behind in Christianity, for we belong to the non-Christian tribes and cultural minorities of the Philippines.
Rev. Augusto M. Cunning
I very much appreciated Rev. Peter Mikelic’s column regarding our It’s Your Call program. It is good to let the wider church know we are serious about the recruitment of our rostered leaders (clergy and diaconal) and that they are a part of the process. Many thanks to Peter for sharing this information with our Anglican friends.
Rev. Elaine Sauer
Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Relations
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Not the first church
Re: New church for Qatar (November Journal). In 2004, a concession of land was granted to the Roman Catholic church to build a church in Qatar, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.It would be accurate to make reference in your article to the first Anglican church in Qatar; it is not the first Christian church in the State.
Editor, The Pearl Magazine
Embassy of the State of Qatar
I commend the timely reminder of Megan S. Mills of Toronto (Study Islam, October letters). Yes, it is time the leadership lights a candle before cursing darkness!The Anglican community, particularly the leadership, must take note that the Canada’s Muslim population is increasing. Here are some numbers from Statistics Canada: in Ontario the number of Muslims increased to 352,525 in 2001 from 52,110 in 1981; in British Columbia 12,720 swelled to 56,215; and in Quebec, 12,115 rose to 108,620. The United States war against Afghanistan and the U.S. occupation in Iraq will only push these numbers higher and much quicker.Anglicans have nothing to rejoice or whine about these growing numbers. These events are only a clarion call for Anglicans to consider reshaping their minds and missions. Anglicans must ask the question: What is the Anglican mission in Canada in the context of a rising tide of Islamophobia?Bishop Kenneth Cragg (formerly of the diocese of Oxford) has been reminding the Christian Community for more than four decades that not to care about Muslims would be not to care about Christ!
Rev. Henry Victor
Sherwood Park, Alta.
Contrary to a common misconception, which is conveyed in Albert S. Mondle’s November letter, entitled Measures, British monarchs are not head of the Church of England. The only anointed head of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury.No British monarch has ever been crowned head of the church, nor is there any reference to this title in the Coronation Rite.Although British monarchs are styled “Defender of the Faith” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England” their relationship with the church is as a chief layperson in the church. Our present queen is not the head of the church, nor will her heir, the Prince of Wales, or his heir, Prince William, ever become head of the Church of England.
David A. Blackman
To Anglicans who choose to discard the Book of Common Prayer, I would refer them to the paean in the front of the King James Bible. This praise was written to honour King James by the scholars he hired to translate the Bible into English.Those who changed these words have ignored why we get down on our knees when we pray. They have cast aside the words, “Faith of our Fathers, Holy Faith, we will be true to thee till death.”We in the Anglican Catholic faith will support the Canadian Prayer Book Society in every way possible. Listening to the words of the Book of Alternative Services breaks my heart. I can’t help thinking, it worked so well ? why?I will not apologize for my decision to serve and worship as Anglican Catholic. I do not see myself better than other Anglicans for having done so. We opted to worship in the way we preferred and both Anglicans and Anglican Catholics must respect each other’s choice and be in full fellowship under God.
Re: Court rules government and churches are liable for residential school abuse (Oct. 22 Journal Web site story). Reference is made to the dollar value of the liabilities to be paid out by the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada. Why is the Anglican church paying approximately four times the amount that the United church is required to pay if the Anglican church only controlled twice as many schools as did the United church?
Rev. F.D. Beasley
Elmvale, Ont. The Acting General Secretary replies:
The Anglican Church of Canada is not paying four times as much as the United Church of Canada. The Anglican church has been paying 30 per cent of validated claims of abuse, while the federal government has been paying 70 per cent of such claims. The Anglican church, through its settlement agreement with the federal government, has a cap on its liabilities of $25 million. After we have paid out $25 million in settlements, then the federal government will assume 100 per cent of additional claims. The United church has no settlement agreement with the government and therefore has no cap on its liabilities. I believe that the United church has been paying 25 per cent of validated claims, as per the original ruling in the Blackwater/Barney case. Following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, the United church will continue to pay 25 per cent of validated claims, with the government paying the remaining 75 per cent. In light of this ruling, the Anglican Church of Canada will now review its settlement agreement with the federal government, but the new ruling is unlikely to affect our cap of $25 million, so whether we pay 25 per cent or 30 per cent of validated claims, the total liability that we have is likely to remain at $25 million.
Acting General Secretary
Anglican Church of Canada
I notice that the small picture for August in the Canadian Church Calendar 2006 is incorrectly titled. It should read the “Church of the Ascension, Inuvik, NT,” where I was incumbent from 1967 to 1973. All Saints Church is in Aklavik, 56 kilometres to the west, the site of the former cathedral of the diocese of the Arctic.
Rev. Douglas Dittrich
Pitt Meadows, B.C.
I consider myself to be a realist, neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the future of the Anglican Church of Canada. I believe that life is not fair and there is no perfect church on earth.Most likely, General Synod will approve the blessing of same-sex unions in 2007, the ordination of practising homosexuals in 2010 and gay marriages in 2013. These decisions will severely weaken our Christian witness in Canada. Nobody will win in the homosexuality issue.
Rev. Michael Li
Grand Bank, Nfld.