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By Rev. Canon Keith Nethery

After many years of writing this column, something new has begun. I’m getting responses.

I received more email (and regular mail) comments on my writings during 2018 than I did in all the previous years of writing combined. And I am exceeding happy about this.

Communication has to be a two way street. For many years I wondered if maybe nobody even read what I wrote, given that the only feedback came at Synod and other diocesan events when someone would approach to inquire if I was, in fact, the person who wrote the column.

So what are the responses?

Well, most are supportive. I did get one recently in which the author expressed a position very different from the one that I presented. But it was written in honesty, with passion and as an attempt to create a conversation.

That is all a writer can ask for, that there is some engagement. It is also appreciated when the responses are constructive in nature. It is very much possible to disagree and still have a meaningful discussion.

I’m going to guess that I what I am about to say would be supported by most, if not all the columnists in the Huron Church News. Please write, please share your thoughts, ideas and opinions. We write because we believe we have a story to tell. The only way for the story to grow is for others to participate in the story telling.

Now there is a concern in asking for comment and it is something in our society that saddens me greatly. Often times, especially, but not exclusively, on line, people hide behind anonymity and say or write things that they would not have the courage to share in a personal conversation.

How many blogs have I read where the author keeps their identity well camouflaged and they incite a group of like-minded followers to level unbridled and oft times inaccurate criticism on anyone who attempts to provide the slightest bit of an alternate idea. The problem is that they accomplish their underhanded agenda by this method; drowning out anyone who would disagree. And that cheapens the communication in that specific situation, and in the broader discourse in society.

So please write, text, email! I’d be very happy to hear from you and understand your thoughts on anything that appears in this column.

One of my silly little catch phrases is “I’ve never met a conversation I didn’t like!” So what would you like to talk about? What do you think of what I have written about? Do you have ideas for a column, a subject you would like to read more on?

Communication is a wonderful thing, as long as we remember that we need all to participate for communication to happen.

Rev. Canon Keith Nethery is the rector at St. James’ Westminster, London.

(Featured photo: Hayden Walker/Unsplash)