Letters to the Editor

Published October 1, 2009

The Anglican Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Preference is given to letters under 100 words. All letters are subject to editing for length, grammar and clarity. Please include a mailing address.

I had to laugh

Re: God is calling us to move in this direction (Sept. 2009)

I had to laugh when I read this headline. The pews may empty, but by God, we’ll have same-sex marriages even if we have to rent the local mosque because all our parishes have closed. Let’s split the Church, and those who believe in Christ and his teachings can build the Anglican faith just as so many evangelical churches are doing in Canada. Those in the Anglican Church of Canada, not because of a faith in Jesus but purely for social beliefs, can go form political parties and do their thing.
James Cowan

Not surprising

The figures in the latest Journal (September) of declining church attendance are disturbing indeed, but not surprising to me. Our congregations now consist mainly of retired people, or at least middle-aged.

So why are the younger ones staying away? Could it possibly be the form of liturgy used every Sunday, which is almost archaic, belonging to previous generations?

Our eucharist is nearly twice as long as the one used by the Roman Catholic church, and the Nicene Creed just doesn’t seem to fit in with modern life.

It is time to take a good look at our current form of worship and bring it into the 21st century. That would be a good start to encourage young people to attend.
Kay Paget
Kingston, Ont.

Perceptions changing

The examples of both the Episcopalians and Evangelical Lutherans voting to be more inclusive of gays and lesbians and to allow clergy who have same-sex partners full privileges of ministry illustrates how society’s perceptions are changing. The Anglican Church of Canada, perhaps in anticipating a similar close split, has chosen to avoid voting on this in 2010.

This is becoming as divisive an issue as the question of whether Gentiles should become circumcised to become followers of Jesus. Perhaps it is time to understand that there is room for both practices, circumcised and uncircumcised followers of The Way.
Rev. Donald Shields
Markham, Ont.

Get with the program

I find it exasperating how we Anglicans are contentiously working to avoid what should be obvious: the law of the land is that all persons may enter into marriage. This is backed up by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and most Canadian citizens.

Surely, enough time has passed for us to see that the human rights of our fellow Anglicans have priority over our intra-church theological machinations. The United Church has seen the obvious and allows its ministers to perform marriages between two persons. I suppose they are doing our dirty work.

Let’s get with it and not associate ourselves any longer with religious groups that pander in the name of the Divine to de facto bigotry. It may be a little rough at first, but we will look back in pride. Think of how we now feel about women in priestly ministry!
N. Henry Clarke, M.A.
Kingston, Ont.

Ix-nay Adam and Steve

I would just like to say how deeply saddened I am to hear that another diocese has agreed to perform same-sex blessings. It boggles my mind when the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin and marriage is between man and woman, not, as the phrase goes, “Adam and Steve.”
Kevin Tucker
Scarborough, Ont.

Don’t tap ANiC again

The day has passed when we need to hear what Executive Archdeacon Charlie Masters and Bishop Donald Harvey have to say about the Anglican Church of Canada.

While they were still part of the Anglican Church of Canada, it was fair that we should hear their views, no matter that they never said anything new. Now that they have gone off to the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), their views are no longer relevant.

I would rather hear comments from people who have stayed within the Anglican church in spite of disagreement with current events.
Patricia Brush

Remove their voice

I don’t believe the Journal should be soliciting comments from ex-Anglicans such as Bishop Donald Harvey, as they have made the decision to break away from the Anglican Communion to form the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). They have ceased to honour and respect ongoing church processes and have disobeyed their vows. They should no longer have the right to weigh in on our issues, or on any of our meetings.
Rev. Capt. Dwayne W. Bos
Diocese of Huron

Imperfect best

Writing as an Anglican and a co-religionist, I am pleased that the United Church of Canada (UCC) chose not to support a boycott of Israel in response to the Israeli handling of the last Gaza war. A successful boycott might somehow damage Israel’s ability to defend herself, but it won’t eliminate the need.

Many agree with the UCC’s charges that Israel committed war crimes during the recent Operation Cast Lead (codename for the Gaza war). As I see it, where Israel did her imperfect best to minimize civilian casualties and suffering, both to her own population (shelters) as well as that of their opponents (targeting of militants, warning leaflets, respite to allow supplies), Hamas did the exact opposite. They intended their rockets to take out as many as possible and it didn’t matter who; and they used human shields as fodder with the intent of making Israel look bad. In this light, it is telling that Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, backing the agenda at the recent United Church conference, aimed the bulk of their condemnation at Israel.
Tim Kilgore
Victoria, B.C.

Failure to communicate

It’s hard to imagine any area of Anglican church life having greater untapped potential for strengthening the effectiveness of our ministries than parish communications. I long for the day they become more widely implemented.

Not only is a failure to communicate expensive in terms of lost opportunities, but cost savings can actually be made as communication improves. My own parish church distributes a 32-page parish magazine five times a year. It costs the parish less than it would cost to produce a one-page newsletter because the printing costs are covered by paid advertisers. Significantly, these advertisers also help to widen exposure of the church ministries within the local community.

In medium to large-sized churches, much can be achieved by working towards a well-integrated plan using a parish newsletter or magazine (usually over 20 pages), a parish website, weekly bulletin and regular e-mails, as well as local commercial media outlets for press releases and display advertising promoting the church and its programs.
Jim Weller
Cobourg, Ont.

Who was benefactor?

Who was Marjorie Dashwood? I was left frustrated by what was not reported in the story (Large bequest leaves church with surplus for 2008, June 2009). What about her life and the ministry of the church that led to this amazing gift? I encourage you to focus on the blessing and share the whole story of success. In hard times we need positive stories!
Stephen G. Kerr
Peoria, Ill.


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