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Wishing for an Anglican advice column

Wishing for an Anglican advice column

From Anglicans Online – wishing for an Anglican “Agony Aunt”:

The origin of Agony Aunts or ‘Dear Abby’ advice columns is lost in time, but in various forms, they still persist.* The New York Times hosts a snappy spin-off called ‘Social Qs’, and the plucky editor proffers common sense advice for all manner of puzzling situations.

A more serious column in the same paper is entitled ‘The Ethicist’, tackling the moral and ethical undercurrents of reader-submitted situations. An example? ‘Bad Driving, Airline Delays, and Vigorous Exercise: Choosing between a bad driver and a drunken driver; keeping compensation from an airline; and questioning the safety of vigorous activity’.

We’ve been brooding about the need for such a Q&A venue for Anglicans. We’re well aware that various Anglican blogs and websites flirt with this sort of thing in the occasional essay or reader comment. Ship of Fools probably comes closest in some of its email forums. But as far as we know, there’s no one place in the Anglican world where one can ask an Anglican-related question ranging from systematic theology and behaviour in the pews to the origin of the tippet and what saintly figure perished whilst walking near Ballachulish.

For some time, I’ve worked with an Anglican colleague — call her Betty Bowman — who is devoted, energetic, and committed to her job. But as the months have gone by, I’ve become more irritated by her constant references to the way that God has or is acting in her life, articulated variously: ‘God has brought me to where I am today’, ‘I’m not anxious about that issue, for I trust in God and know He will look after me’, and many variations on that theme.

Now I am in full agreement that God is woven in and through our lives, but I’d not presume to articulate, regularly and persistently (and dare I say, gratingly) to office colleagues just how He is working in my life or how my faith has enabled me to

A. persevere

B. be placid when others are fretting

C. be relentlessly cheerful no matter what life tosses at me

I find myself growing increasingly impatient with my seemingly holier-than-thou colleague, who fixes quizzical looks at those of us whose faith seems to be of a less audible and less robust quality. At times, I confess I want to do something very un-Anglican and punch her. Can you advise?

Read it all at Anglicans Online.


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