Letters to the Editor

Please use the Contact the Herald page to send a letter to our editor. A selection of those letters will be posted here.

Follow the Money
This is a link to a storify page by Kyle Oliver concerning the budget and the funding of faith formation.
The Future of Lay Employment

My parish had established parity in benefits between clergy and lay employees before it was mandated.    So far, so good.As someone who benefitted greatly from the sabbatical I had from my previous parish, I felt that sabbatical was the next frontier for parity.  This was particularly important to me as Rector in a church where there were two very gifted long-serving employees.   Of course, the elected lay leadership was happy to find a way to reward faithful employees.   We worked through the process, created a pilot program, found some money for it, and our Minister of Music is now enjoying three months of re-creation.   Simply planning for them gave him new life.

Truth is: ALL kinds of professionals could be renewed by sabbatical. Imagine how it might effect first responders, medical professionals of all kinds, those in law enforcement…

The Rev. Susan Barnes
St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Minneapolis, Minnesota
General Comments

Dear Episcopal Herald,

The posts from The Herald have been an excellent way for a lay person to connect with the activities, decisions and elections that were part of General Convention.  The insights, evaluations and comments helped to make what was happening much easier to understand.  As a vestry member, I thought it was important for me to keep abreast of developments and The Herald provided the perfect source for that information.   Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Chris Abbott
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Fort Bend County, Texas

I simply wanted to say thank you for offering these insights and reflections. Like many Gen X clergy and lay leaders in The Episcopal Church, I do not want to look back years from now and realize that all I did was manage decline. The spirit of the Herald reminds me there are many, many people gifted for leadership and ministry, evangelism and discipleship, prayer and action.The Anglican/Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School has a tagline they use–Roots Down, Walls Down. That is what we need now. Deep roots, hands extended, following the Christ who holds all things together.Peace,

The Rev. Brian Cole
Church of the Good Shepherd
Lexington, KY

Please accept thanks from this grateful “person in the pew” for offering such a thoughtful analysis of the important issues at hand for the Episcopal Church.  It is heartening to hear substantive topics like marriage, the budget and structure of the national church, and the candidates for presiding bishop being discussed in your podcasts in a marvelously fearless, candid manner.  I’ve also found your articles to be insightful and thought-provoking – keep ‘em coming!  Even the cartoons appropriately poke and prod just as good political cartoons must.  I recognize sharing your hearts so honestly in this world is a risk – but I hope it brings you all great reward. I pray God’s blessing on your individual ministries and on the outstanding communication effort of The Episcopal Herald.Thanks again and peace to you!Tammie Taylor
St. Augustine of Hippo
Galveston, TX
815: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Thank you for your thought-provoking blog post titled “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”  It seems to me that comparing the work done in the executive office space at 815 2nd Avenue to the contemporary worship of 5000 folks at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, most of whom live in or near the city, might be apples/oranges. Indeed Tim Keller is a well-known author and teacher and visitors from outside the country may flock to hear him, just as they did to San Antonio when Max Lucado preached at Oak Hills Church of Christ there. But are there Episcopal parishes or missions in the NYC area that are drawing the crowds that Redeemer draws?  If not, why not? And, even so, would the staff at 815 be the ones to lead those worship services?
In 1989 when Keller established Redeemer, the internet, which scarcely existed then, didn’t allow us the connectivity we have now. Being together is important for worship, albeit on several different campuses, in the case of Redeemer, it appears, but it is no longer required for doing business.
There are a number of larger cities around the country where international business is done quite efficiently, effectively, and much more economically than in NYC. Opportunities for mission, culture, and nearby nail salons abound. In fact, some might find the quality of life in these cities superior.
That said, I am thoroughly enjoying the blog and am looking forward to hearing more from the writers as the work and worship of General Convention ensues.
Linda W. Astala
Holy Comforter Episcopal Church
Spring, TX