Why TOPIC gets few letters

I am not surprised that TOPIC does not receive many letters to the editor. I am surprised that the editor claims he does not understand why "the letters to TOPIC seemed to have dried up." (January, 2007) If topic were to communicate fairly and without bias then we would not find it necessary to seek other means of getting information and getting at the truth.

I am certain that the majority of Anglicans in Canada are unaware of the fact that a majority of our bishops by their actions wish to take us out of communion with the world wide communion of 72 million Anglicans.

Peter Jefferson

Appreciation for progressive ideals

After watching today's "The Standard" [television program] I would just like to express my appreciation for your ministry. I am a person who has been embittered against religion for many years, and although I am not exactly ready to convert, your dedication to progressive ideals, and the environment in particular, has given me new found respect for people of faith. Bless you all.


The Ven. Jeannette Stigger

Resource for retreat seekers

Erica C. Vance's book review ("A connection between art and spirituality," September 2006 TOPIC) has prompted me to share a wonderful resource that I came across quite by chance some years ago. CARM, the Creative Arts Retreat Movement, offers retreats in England and on the Continent, usually in monasteries and retreat houses. My first taste of these retreats was in a Franciscan house on Malta; it was a 'Prayer and Painting' retreat. It was a delightful introduction.</SPAN>

Retreats cover a wide spectrum of creative arts: poetry, calligraphy, photography, drama, music and embroidery; all in the context of prayer. The aim of CARM is to allow people to find themselves in the presence of the Creator.

The origin of the movement was Anglican but it is now ecumenical and open to all faiths. By intention, it remains a movement and not an organization. It offers a unique perspective on the church, and as I see it, an important one. You can find out more by going to www.carmretreats.org.

(The Ven.) Jeannette A. Stigger

What? Not enough wind?

Your story regarding the installation of a solar panel on St. David's explains why a plan for an energy-producing windmill has been abandoned: "No church with sufficient wind was found." ( Feb. 2007 TOPIC).

Do you realize what you have said? Forget same-sex what-nots--this could shake Anglicanism to its foundation. We are in the wind business. The production of wind is our speciality. What would the Anglican church be without long-winded sermons, long-winded prayers, and short-winded parishioners? Does this mean we are running out of steam? You leave me gasping.

(The Rev.) Michael Batten

St. James holds diverse views on blessing

In the March TOPIC, you reported that Brian Strehler "of St. James, Vancouver" cast the lone dissenting vote at Diocesan Council in opposition to a motion to be presented to General Synod in June from the diocese. It asks the national body to affirm that the diocese will continue the blessing of same sex unions, no matter what its decision regarding the St. Michael Report.

Mr. Strehler sits on Diocesan Council not as a member elected to speak for St. James' parish, but as an archdeaconry representative. To label him as a St. James' parishioner suggests by association that Mr. Strehler's views are shared by others in the parish, and that the parish is perhaps of a single opinion on the subject.

Just as in every parish, St. James has people with a wide spectrum of views on the issue of human sexuality and sexual identity. While we are not one of the parishes that requested permission to offer blessings on same-gendered relationships, we have parishioners who strongly support the blessing, and parishioners who have had their relationships so blessed at a parish that has been duly licensed to perform blessings.

Mr. Strehler is entitled to hold his views, but he does not speak for the parish on diocesan council, and should not be identified that way in diocesan communications. Equally, I am writing not as a parish spokesperson. My views are mine alone.

Gail Edwards
St. James parishioner
TOPIC welcomes letters and other contributions. Please keep them brief. Space restrictions may not allow every submission, so publication cannot be guaranteed. Contributions may be edited for length, clarity, and decorum.