Letters to the Editor

Published September 1, 2008

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.

Reaction mixed on actions at Lambeth Conference

Testing Anglicanism

Dear editor,

Keeping abreast of the bishops’ deliberations at Lambeth through the Anglican Journal’s Web page concerning the place of homosexuals in the world-wide communion has sorely tested my sense of identity as an Anglican.

What conceit and arrogance and, as Jesus said of the Pharisees, hypocrisy, to presume, in the name of appeasing those who cannot abide the thought of blessing a committed homosexual relationship or supporting a homosexual bishop, to strip the right to perform that blessing from those who have prayerfully undertaken it.

Save us, God, from the befuddled sentiments of that bishop who is seeking avenues by which we may become friends.

We are family, good sir, which is quite often different from friends, and families fight and fracture and yet, in the end, are still family. Rather that and the pain of my brother or sister not feeling able to bear to break bread with me for a time than an insipid, Mr. Roger’s view of saccharine, least common denominator friendliness.

The bishops claim to have moved towards a unifying compromise in the form of a moratorium, partly retroactive in order to give breathing room for the matter to be more calmly settled, but have seemingly forgotten that more than the 200 bishops that boycotted the conference have not moved an inch towards compromise.

I wish Philip Larkin were still alive to pen a poem about this governing collective of our communion.

Perhaps as a starting point he could bring to mind his masterwork, The Old Fools.

Perhaps it is time for our Anglican Church of Canada to say to the worldwide communion that we will stand without voice or vote, as separated brethren, and in solidarity with all of those bishops, priests, deacons and laity who are as they were born — homosexual — and come to Christ as they are, a part of the family.
Bill Pearson
Pitt Meadows, B.C.

Eucharist isn’t news

Dear editor,

While it may be regrettable that members of the media are being barred from participating at services of holy eucharist at Lambeth, presumably those who want to attend are wishing to as baptized Christians and not just for the purpose of media coverage.

The media, perhaps, should not be too surprised at being “barred.” The agenda for the Lambeth Conference has been set, and rightly so.

The media sometimes has its own agenda for such events and in this case that could disrupt a positive movement of understanding among the Anglican Communion’s spiritual leaders. Spirituality does not sell tabloid newspapers.

I’m sure the Journal is not being singled out.

You are at the conference with every kind of media and so no matter how “balanced” you would want your reporting to be, the attempt to have some control over the media for, among other things, security and I suspect the good possibility of misquote.

And finally, the Web reports from the Lambeth Conference Web site are quite informative.
Ray Fletcher+
Burns Lake, B.C.

Human error

Dear editor,

Thank you for making the Journal valuable as a medium to communicate church issues and various views from your constituency, and significant editorials and quality journalism.

I am celebrating with family and friends my 90th birthday today, in the context of my happy and fruitful marriage of 50 years on May 10, 2008, and the 60th anniversary of my deaconate on May 30, 2008. I was confirmed by the bishop of Toronto, married by the bishop of Ottawa, and canonized by the bishop of Fredericton.

Just like old wine that mellows with age into an excellence, so is the Word of God when it matures in your heart and mind; it is an infinite resource for the messenger and the Holy Spirit for the glory of God and the inspiration of the congregation.

The word is also a remedy to correct a human error, which distorts the beauty and cadence of new translations of the Bible and also deeper meaning or truth in a new translation: e.g. the proposition in the Lord’s (or Disciples’) Prayer, in the phrase in or on earth. In the Greek lexicon, “En” can be translated “in” or “on” earth. This preposition balanced “in” earth with “in” heaven. We pray that the kingdom of God will come to our hearts and minds and dwell within us, rather than on us. Jesus is the king and he wants to dwell “within us” and “among us.”

Blessing same-sex uions is another mistake for the church to make, because the word tells us distinctly that man and woman were created to become one with God’s blessed presence. We read this in the Book of Genesis wherein all persons of the trinity were invited to agree that man and woman would be like God in man. Together they compose man. Jesus was made man and he has become one with his spouse, the Church.

There is so much more for us to set in order with the help and inspiration of God. Do you agree?
Canon Ernst Lloyd Lake, C.D.
Saint John, N.B.

Broken faith

Dear editor,

So what is it then: That being together is more important than being just? That it’s ok to discriminate against and deny the callings and value of gays if doing so makes the bigots and folks with other views upset?

Unity is something to be prized if it is mutually beneficial. Tell me how coddling bigots benefits a young gay Anglican learning that his church doesn’t hate him but doesn’t think him worth equality (even though Jesus himself would have embraced him).

The communion has broken faith with decency and with me.
Harrison Sims
New Westminster, B.C.


Dear editor,

Archbishop Hiltz has nothing to say. Same-sex blessings are unbiblical. It should not belong anywhere in the teachings of the Church.
Rev. John Flipsen

Foggy bottom

Dear editor,

I am encouraged by the spreading of acceptance of women clergy throughout the Anglican Communion (and by knowledge that many RC’s are of like mind).

But the ongoing discussion at Lambeth about human sexuality is discouraging by its chronic tentativeness. And we wonder why our numbers continue to decline in progressive societies.

Seems there is some pandering to African head count? Don’t we owe all peoples total honesty about the meaning of our faith?

I mean, what in heaven’s name was the point of Sunday’s first Reading (Genesis 29 …of Leban, Rachel, Leah et al) if it wasn’t a lesson of God’s forbearance? That, coupled with Christ’s main points on the Mount, I am becoming repelled by the confusion.

My mother was born in 1900 and died at 102 with her life spent ruminating about the foggy bottom of Anglicanism. I may not live as long but I am pretty certain that at the rate things are going it will be hundreds of years before substantive change is made. Great Scott! It is only about human sexuality. What is the problem? The state has come to terms with it and most Canadians have done so. Where is the moral leadership of the church in respect to the rights and freedoms of the individual?
David Major
Chester, N.S.

Go our separate ways

Dear editor,

As one who has departed the Anglican Church of Canada, and experienced the heady freedom of ministry under faithful, biblical leadership…and a Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) participant, I have watched the goings on at Lambeth with increasing incredulity.

I am amazed at the desperation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the minority liberal Anglicans who are attempting to keep the sinking ship afloat, despite being told by their orthodox brothers and sisters that there can be no reconciliation without repentance and a return to the received faith of the church.

Entirely too much energy is being wasted trying to hold a dying communion together. Let us just go our separate ways and God will eventually tell us who was right and who was wrong. We are done. There is a new reality unfolding that will see approximately 15 million liberal Anglicans running their own separate show and 40 plus million orthodox Anglicans in a separate confessional fellowship.

We haven’t been walking in biblical unity (in spirit and truth) for years. Desperate measures won’t make it happen. Only prayerful confession and repentance can do that, and the liberals just aren’t interested as can be attested to by Mr. Ingham’s comments. We need to get over it and get on with what God is calling each of us to do.
Rev. Barclay Mayo+
Madeira Park, B.C.

Leaving a mark

Dear editor,

I am a returning and retiring Cape Bretoner; I have had only two opportunities to be exposed to Bishop Bruce Howe. His retirement is a great loss to Anglicanism and while my exposure to Bishop Bruce was short, he has left his mark on me.

Bishop Bruce, as you made me feel comfortable in calling you! May I wish you good health and long life! Glace Bay remembers and welcomes you back at any time.
Murray and Mona Wadden
Glace Bay, N.S.

Change is inevitable

Dear editor,

I have been following your excellent reporting re: Lambeth. The article titled, “Lambeth Seeks Common Ground” (Journal Web site, Aug. 1) interesting. To this observer it would appear that the basic tenets of Anglicanism need no re-definition and that perhaps Archbishop Drexel Gomez, primate of the West Indies (and others of similar persuasion) might be happier and feel more secure in their faith if we had some form of “papacy” attendant to Anglicanism.

Seems that when feathers are ruffled when one’s view of theology is challenged, rules are needed to maintain somewhat of a status quo. We know how Jesus felt about that. The Holy Spirit continues to speak to and to challenge us. (“My words are not your words nor my thoughts your thoughts …”.) One must adopt a discipline of listening when in prayer; we all might learn something. Our unity necessarily involves our differences; we need not agree on everything. Else, the Word of God would not be dynamic.
John M. Stevenson
Gettysburg, PA

Average attendance

Dear editor,

While Anne Fletcher was accurate in reporting that the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) represents about one per cent of the parishes in the Anglican Church of Canada, she did not mention what the average Sunday attendance numbers show.

The ANiC combined average Sunday attendance (ASA) right now sits at 2,550. According to the most recent numbers (2001) that means the Network has now a larger ASA than 13 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada in 2001. This would make the Network a diocese roughly in the middle, size-wise.
Lesley Bentley


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