Response to this Site and e-mail correspondence

February 16, 1998

From: Carole Burton[]
Sent: January 16, 1998 7:35 PM
To: Copple, Tony
Subject: Theol. Issues

Tony- I haven't yet replied to you re. what you suggested about my posting a few thoughts on your website re. those BASIC Christian concepts in "Theological Issues". Sure, I'll send something on it. But YOU know the orthodox Christian position on each of them- maybe YOU should post your thoughts on them! That would be VERY interesting!! [I've now done this - Tony]

I've been preparing a mailing for Nfld. Conference re. the Christmas Confession, to try to mobilize the LAY people (and maybe a FEW ministers- oh so hard to get them to take a STAND for Jesus Christ!). I'll attach a little summary I did, of what has been happening re. the Moderator. A lot of us know about it all, from the Internet- but MANY others DON'T know much of it. So I tried my best to summarize it briefly.

Anyhow, when I get that sent out, I'll do a little thing on those "Issues" - though maybe you will have something on it by then.

Carole B.


From: Carole Burton[]
Sent: January 24, 1998 9:58 PM
To: Copple, Tony
Subject: Rev.Don Anderson-"I Believe"

by Rev. Don Anderson

The sessions of the United Churches at Burnstown, Calabogie, and White Lake requested me to run a series of articles on my belief as a minister of the United Church. No enviable task when the requisite is added that I must do it simply.

The Bible asks of us the question, "Who do you say that I am?" and demands with the same breath, "without faith it is impossible to please God." The Bible then offers what it demands, "the free gift of God is eternal life."

Belief is both that which God demands and gives to the one who will seek.

Belief is the fabric of how we interpret all things. It is neither rational, for that would make it fact, nor irrational, for that would refute it. Belief relates to the question we have asked from infancy - why? It takes us where reason is silent, though our hearts are not. Belief is the mentor of existence.

Belief is pervasive of life. It is not a spectacle which can be taken off, or a discipline which can be optional. If you want to know what I believe, ask my children, for they see through my words to that which prompts my being. To act without belief in what one is doing is sin.

Christian belief is not simply intellectual assertion, a collection of words no matter how complete, nor is it practice. Belief is not that which I confess, but I find that it is that which God is confessing in me.

I used once to believe in God, then discovered that God believes in me, enough to die for me. And that has made the difference in my life.

I invite you to examine my belief as a minister of the United Church.


From: Gail Reid[]
Sent: February 9, 1998 7:25 PM
Subject: Re: Lastest news on moderator plus removals

For those who do not get the Toronto Star, thought you might find this article: "Jesus debate rocks United boat" interesting. Hope to see many of you at Faithfulness V Blessings Gail


Sent: February 13, 1998 1:35 AM
Subject: Mending the World & Reconciling and Making New

Hi Wayne:

Just a quick note in response to your query re: Mending the World, and Reconciling and Making New. You probably are already aware of this, but to reiterate just in case: I have written a paper on Mending the World which will be published in the March issue of Theological Digest and Review. Richard Fairchild has also kindly put it on the net. It may be obtained at

You may wish to copy it, since I'm not sure how long Richard will keep it there. I can't help you as far as "Reconciling and Making New" goes. There are positives in that document, but there are also a few things to look out for. All for now.
David Fisher


From: Rev Ed Hird[]
Sent: February 13, 1998 10:26 AM
Subject: Farewell to the Lord's Prayer??
(An Excerpt from the January 1998 'Voice' Newspaper of the Diocese of Newark,New Jersey)

From Sabbatical to Lectures to Book
by Peggy Gunness

During his recent sabbatical, Bishop Spong did most of the writing of his next and, according to him, his final book, to be titled, Why Christianity Must Change or Die - A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile. Now back home again, his hope is to put before the people of the diocese the contents of this book, so that we will be familiar with them before the book's publication, set for this coming June. The two fall lectures at Christ Church Ridgewood were a part of this process, and the topics were Prayer in a Post-Modern World Where Theism Has Died and A New Basis for Ethics in a New Age... My task in this article is to put before you some of the substance of what he said, yet I find I can't do this without including some of my own perspectives at the article's end as well.

So first, let's look at the lecture on prayer. I think few will quibble with the oft stated thesis that modern science has made much of the traditional imagery of faith inadequate. Yet the church continues to use the language of this imagery to express truths which we know to be different from the very images we persist in using to express them. So in light of this, Spong set out to examine the meaning of prayer in a world where the concept of an exterior deity, a "God in the sky, " is no longer acceptable. For example, he says, we can no longer begin our prayer where Jesus instructed his disciples to begin, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..., " because of the assumptions in this prayer: that God is a person, a male, in a distant place called heaven, who takes delight in our recognition of the sacredness of his name. These assumptions are among the many that no longer fit the post modern world as we understand it. Furthermore, Spong states, we can no longer believe in a God who acts in response to human requests, just as we can no longer believe that natural events happen or don't happen simply because of what we human beings ask of God....

Peggy Gunness is rector of Christ Church, Ridgewood.


From: Rev Ed Hird[]
Sent: February 12, 1998 11:02 AM
Subject: Everyone in England Invited to the Alpha Course