23rd May, 2002
Dear Dunedin Methodists
What a superb site!
Thank you for including my 'Vicar of Dibley' Psalm 23 in Joan Robertson's kind and informative article on my Choral Works CD. If any of your visitors/members are interested, I have a fairly comprehensive website with details of my music & broadcasts. In particular, readers might be stimulated/provoked/challenged/tickled by my article 'Music & Christian Worship in the 21st Century', originally delivered as a lecture at Regent's Park Theological College, Oxford University, which can be found in the 'biography' section of the site.
Best wishes and greetings to all
Howard Goodall website: <http://www.howardgoodall.co.uk>
23rd March, 2001
Like your web site --
First United Methodist Church of Topeka, Kansas, USA.
6th December, 2000
I used your page in the search for the Vicar of Dibley theme information for a friend and it was helpful. Now I can return the favour. You can buy the sheet music for Vicar of Dibley from here:
Thanks for your help,
5th October, 2000
A writer friend sent me a link to Margaret Parkinson's diversity essay, which was moving and powerful. Impressed by a church that would bravely post such an inclusive and controversial essay, I proceeded to visit the rest of your site.
I was further impressed - and disappointed. You mention gays and lesbians frequently. There is even a reference to transgendered individuals. However, nowhere does your site refer to bisexuals as individuals worthy of inclusion in your church.
We exist. We may even be believers. But we are invisible. Even to you.
I am Jewish, and will always be. I was raised in the Conservative movement. However, I am undergoing a crisis of belief, because Conservative theology dictates that being anything other than heterosexual is a violation of Halacha, of Judaic law, and while gays and lesbians are starting to be welcomed in some congregations, bisexuals are all but invisible. Individual synagogues may embrace me, but that is not complete acceptance. My heart is broken. My soul has been expelled from its Judaic home.
It is refreshing to see that your house of worship is so inclusive and all-embracing. Were I a Christian, I would weep with joy. I think that is why I am so sad to see your site fall short. Please include bisexuals of faith *visibly* in your articles, and your links. Bisexuals of faith are so invisible to everyone else...
10th October, 2000
I appreciate feedback on my "ISTs and ISMs" essay. The letter received by this site is not the only feedback I have received. Not only did I fail to recognize bisexual people as being invisible or ignored by "Ists" but I assumed that ageism refers only to older folks. It is great to have one's "Isms" pointed out, and I wonder what other prejudices are obvious to others but have passed me by.
Although bisexual people are included in the euphemism GLBT they are indeed less often considered even by other sexual minorities. Likewise, children experience ageism that is unrecognized and ignored. In fact, adults often treat children in ways that would get them imprisoned if they used such behavior toward adults.
In my view, a community claiming to be compassionate and following the teachings of the "prince of peace" needs to open its doors as wide as they can go ... Perhaps it should even be willing to take the walls down.
17th May, 2000
I was looking at sites for issues in young adult fiction and stumbled on yours . . . .
I realised you didn't have one very important YAF novel under your annotated book list for issues of sexual abuse:
The House Tibet by Georgia Savage.
It's a beautiful book, already a classic.
15th Jan, 2000
Greetings in Christ's Name:
I discovered your website today while looking for some worship ideas. I think it is one of the best organized sites I have visited lately. I took the liberty of printing out the Colin Gibson hymn and will have the Choir Director at my home Church, St. Paul's United Church (United Church of Canada), in Prescott, Ontario, Canada, review it for possible use during Lent.
I will be coming back to this site when I have more time to explore the treasures you have to share.
God's blessing in your Ministry for Christ Jesus;
27th Sept, 1999
It is with a huge sense of relief that I have found your website. Coming home to God two years ago, I became a Christian. And then, not knowing much about the different churches, an Anglican. I soon found that it was God's plan in my life to challenge everything I had set up for myself. Time to be honest - Lili, you're a lesbian. As I was in the seventh year of a de-facto relationship with a man at the time, I found myself turning my life upside down. Bravely, I 'came out' to the people at church whom I relied on for support. They gave me it, but not without conditions it turned out, apparently my being a lesbian is not a subject to be talked about, or asked after. The toughest year of my life, and I have had to live it silently.
I've come to the point now where I am going to leave the Anglican Church. If I can't be a fully involved and accepted member of the church, if I can't use the wonderful gifts that God has given me, if I am not to be accepted wholeheartedly, then I am going to leave. Maybe this will be a challenge enough to some of the people I know, to make them think about what their institution really stands for.
So, thankyou for showing me that there is still a place for me out there.
30th Jan, 1999
"God moves in mysterious ways"
We have placed on a separate page this response from 'Chris' (not his real name) to Marion Thomson's statement on "The Church and homosexuality".
19th Jan, 1999
Thank you so much for this web site. I was particularly affected by the article "Is God Male?" You folks have so much courage. In many, perhaps most, segments of the church here in America, it is dangerous even to speak of such matters.
Grace and peace,
A new friend in America
3rd Dec, 1998
. . . just to let you know how much we appreciated the excellent articles on Paul. I have used them with a study group here, and now I get remarks like: ""I am reading Paul in a new light . . ." "I have a new understanding of Paul . . ." Keep up the good work.
Also we love some of the hymns. "Nothing is lost on the breath of God" has become a favourite here and we have passed it on to some other congregations as well.
Ian W. Ogier
Palmerston North Church of Christ (Associated)
20th Nov, 1998
Just a short note to say thanks for the music. Our congregation has enjoyed Colin Gibson's lovely song "It all Depends". The words are very special to us indeed.
Pastor, Mairangi Bay Community Church, Auckland.
28th Aug, 1998
Congratulations to the people who took the time to set up this homepage. One of the best I have seen so far (i.e. produced by a church). Keep up the good work.
I was thoroughly blessed by the articles (especially about St.Paul) and testimonies (The Church and Homosexuality). Please convey my appreciation to the writers.
I am looking forward to more enlightening articles.
Rev. Richard Tan
Trinity Methodist Church, Singapore
11th Aug, 1998
I am sure I will be just one of many to congratulate you all on your fabulous site. I feel very proud to have a link back to your community. It is so refreshing to find such open, life embracing, celebratory communications coming from the institutional church (if you'll excuse the title). I think that open minded, thinking, secular people with no "church" background could enjoy reading through your site and actually see the church as a credible and enjoyable place to be - this is indeed a rare phenomenon !
Particularly enjoyed the personal stories section and the over all friendly relaxed style of the whole site. CONGRATULATIONS to all involved.
Yaay, Go Dunedin !
17th Feb, 1998
As a 70 year old former Methodist, and son of a Methodist minister, I am wandering, trying to be a "Planetarian", doing what I can not to despoil this gorgeous 8000 mile diameter rock hurtling through space. In my lifetime the U.S. population has doubled. We are now 6000 times more numerous than we were in 10,000 BC.
"Centralization", particularly corporate centralization robs us of our individuality and suppresses innovation. One day we will drive our sputtering cars to the Mall and find that the WalMart store is closed forever, and then wish we still had the "Mom & Pop" store on the corner. My homepage is (http://www.agate.net/~tralchem) I have been looking for alternative energy resources for 30 years, and have found nothing as rich as the oil we are squandering.
27th Jan, 1998
Hello from New Jersey, USA
A few weeks ago while on vacation in Dunedin I had the pleasure of attending Sunday services at Trinity Hall in the Octagon, and I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome. Perhaps one day I can extend a welcome to you at Princeton (N.J.) United Methodist Church! In the meantime I look forward to reading your home page. In case anyone is interested, the Princeton United Methodist Church's home page is: http://hwmin.gbgm-umc.org/conferences/SouthernNJ
Happy New Year!
6th Jan, 1998
Congratulations on your fascinating and informative site. Even though I live 8000 miles away from The Dunedin Methodist Parish and Mission, through your site I feel a kinship with the joy, struggle and sincerity of the groups and individuals reflected in your pages.
I am especially moved by the piece written by Marion Thomson regarding the acceptance of gay and lesbian people into Church life (and by extension into full community life). How supported her son and son-in-law must feel. It is my hope that all those church members (within New Zealand and beyond) who resist the acceptance of diversity within their parishes will read and understand her message.
I find myself returning to your site again and again and look forward to reading future material.
Margaret H. Parkinson, Seattle, USA