Commission Proposes Deleting Some Saints, Adding Others

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church, is a faculty member at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. (CDSP photo)

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church, is a faculty member at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. (CDSP photo)

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church has proposed, in a report to the General Convention upcoming in July, that commemorations of the following saints be dropped:

4/12
Adoniram Judson, Missionary to Burma, 1850
4/22
John Muir, Naturalist and Writer, 1914; and Hudson Stuck, Priest and Environmentalist, 1920
7/1
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Writer and Prophetic Witness, 1896
7/12
Nathan Soderblom, Archbishop of Uppsala and Ecumenist, 1931
7/13
Conrad Weiser, Witness to Peace and Reconciliation, 1760
8/23
Toribio de Mogrovejo, 1606 [retaining Martin de Porres, 1639, and Rosa de Lima, 1617, Witnesses to the Faith in South America]
9/3
Prudence Crandall, Teacher and Prophetic Witness, 1890
9/8
Nikolai Grundtvig, Bishop and Hymnwriter, 1872
9/8
Soren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855
10/19
William Carey, Missionary to India, 1834
12/10
Karl Barth, Pastor and Theologian, 1968
12/15
John Horden, Bishop and Missionary in Canada, 1893
12/15
Robert McDonald, Priest, 1913
12/17
William Lloyd Garrison, 1879 [retaining Maria Stewart, 1879, Prophetic Witness]
12/19
Lillian Trasher, Missionary in Egypt, 1961
12/22
Charlotte Diggs (Lottie) Moon, Missionary in China, 1912

I would hate to see most of them go – especially since they don’t propose getting rid of Sarah Hale, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” or the utterly depraved theologian John Knox.

The Commission proposes adding these saints:

Gladys Aylward (1/3)
Amma Syncletica of Alexandria (1/5)
Caesaria of Arles (1/12)
Marcella (1/31)
Scholastica, Religious, 543 (2/10)
Katherine Drexel (4/3)
Mary of Egypt (4/3)
Kateri Tekakwitha (4/17)
Maria Gabriella Sagheddu (4/22)
Marie de l’Incarnation, Educator and Spiritual Teacher in New France, 1672 (4/30)
Helena, Protector of the Holy Places, 330 (5/21)
Olga of Kiev (7/11)
Bridget of Sweden, Founder of Bridgettine Order, 1373 (7/23)
Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious (8/12)
Paula and Eustochium (9/28)
Mother Theodore (Anne-Therese) Guerin, Religious, Educator, Prophetic Witness, 1856 (10/3)
Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 (10/12)
Catherine of Alexandria (11/5)
Elizabeth of the Trinity (11/8)
Gertrude the Great and Mechtilde of Hackeborn (11/16)
Dorothy Day (11/29)
Ella Baker (12/13)
Emily Ayckbowm, Founder of the Sisters of the Community of the Church, 1870
Kate Harwood Waller Barrett
Etheldred Berry
Mary McLeod Bethune
Louise De Koven Bowen, Hull House
Josephine Butler
Anna Bessant Cassey and Henrietta Lockwood
Rosa Judith Cisneros
Florence Converse
Ella Cara Deloria, Native American Poet and Writer
Helen Fuller
Ann Gream
Angelina and Sarah Grimke
Sister Margaret Hawk, Church Army, Native American Activist
Addie D. Waites Hunton
Satoko Kitahara
Susan Trevor Knapp, NY Training School for Deaconesses
Eva Lee Matthews and Beatrice Henderson
Victoria Earle Matthews, Author and Settlement House Worker, 1907
Eleanor Laura McMain
Harriet O’Brien Monsell
Maria Montessori
Anna Newell, St. Margaret’s House, Berkeley
Phoebe Palmer
Katherine Parr
Ellen Albertina Polyblank [Sister Albertina] & Elizabeth Ann Rogers [Sister Beatrice]
Richeldis of Faverches
Eleanor Roosevelt
Dorothy Sayers
Mary Kingsbury Simkovitch, Greenwich House, NYC
Therese of Lisieux
Adeline Blanchard Tyler
Ruth Elaine Younger (Mother Ruth, CHS)

I don’t know enough about most of them to have an opinion, but as a “Church Army man” I am well acquainted with Sr. Margaret Hawk. I would rather have her described as an Evangelist or Lay Minister than “Church Army,” which is not a title, or “Native American Activist,” which is obvious from her biography.

This Catherine Parr? One of Henry VIII's many wives? (attributed to Master John)

This Catherine Parr? One of Henry VIII’s many wives? (attributed to Master John)

You’ll notice that all the new names are women. The Commission says this proposal would mean women make up one-third of the new list – which is a worthy goal, although it also sounds almost like a quota system.

The Commission is right to point out that the “classic approach” to designating saints skews heavily toward the clergy, and since women have only been ordained in The Episcopal Church since 1974, that leaves 2000 years of female believers out.

On the other hand, the Commission itself reflects a clerical bias, as well as a penchant for grandiose naming, which makes TEC sound full of itself to anyone under the age of 90.

But to get to one-third women, they delete Karl Barth, Soren Kierkegaard, Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison?

Others on the proposed hit list are saints recognized by other Churches and Communions, including St. Toribio, John Horden and Robert McDonald.

I've never thought of Eleanor Roosevelt as a saint, but at least she'd be someone we could talk about - unlike most of the others on this list.

I’ve never thought of Eleanor Roosevelt as a saint, but at least she’d be someone we could talk about – unlike most of the others on this list. (Speaking at the UN, 1947)

Let’s stipulate this: that the Commission is made up of good people trying to do a good job; that a case can be made for everyone on both the add and delete lists, whether I happen to like them or not; that any such list has political overtones, since Anglicans always need to balance their Protestant and Catholic constituencies; and that genuine sainthood is up to God, not up to us – so what we do when we collectively make such a list is, as the Commission rightly notes, telling “family stories” to each other, of which there are more stories than can be told.

The real problem here is too many Dead White Englishmen – worthies all, but not very meaningful to people today.

That’s what gives rise to the female quota. The Commission doesn’t have the guts to cut any DWEs, so it suggests we scrap some current newbies in favor of an all-women slate of newer newbies.

A Montessori class; well, maybe.

A Montessori class; well, maybe.

We really ought to ask, “Who among the saints make the best role models for today, in the United States, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all the other nations where The Episcopal Church currently operates?”

As the Commission’s proposed new book, A Cloud of Witnesses, suggests, we’ve got plenty of role models to choose from. Who are the best ones for today?

The DWEs offer us a primer on Anglican church history, and yay for them. But they don’t help anyone live today. They should be taught in seminary, every last one of them, and in church history classes. Who helps us spread the Good Word today?

One obvious answer is the more recent the saint, the better. The closer to home, the better. The more like “me” and like us, the better.

We are becoming a browner church – so let’s X out St. Toribio? He campaigned against the enslavement of Latin American Indians!

St. Toribio: quick in, quick out.

St. Toribio: quick in, quick out.

Should we eliminate Harriet Beecher Stowe, the “little lady who caused our Civil War?” Why? That war freed our slaves, and no one can question that her motives were entirely Christian. Same with William Lloyd Garrison, even though he’s a Dead White Guy.

Where is Rosa Parks? How about Dorothy Haight, Fannie Lou Hamer, Viola Liuzzo and Coretta Scott King?

The Commission has a terrible job, and I thank them for their efforts. And yes, we’re all entitled to grouse if our favorites don’t make the list while someone else’s faves do. The right to boo comes with every paid admission to the ballpark.

But I’m afraid an all-female class will only provoke divisions, which we don’t need more of. It feels like one more needless insult, precisely because it fails to answer the question, “Who are the best saints for today?”

That question would no doubt yield a lot of women! I think we’d all want it to. Every woman in the Church, every girl coming up, every prospective member of either sex needs to see more women. After all, Frances Perkins won Lent Madness a year or two ago; there’s a definite market for more women role models in this Church.

I don’t think an all-female list, most of whom we’ve never heard of, is the way to go. Refining the question, “Who should be included and why?” is a better way.

Know this: our Daily Office sites will abide by whatever decision the General Convention makes.

But I do note that the Standing Commission in 2015 made no attempt to solicit the views of communities like ours, who live with the Calendar every day, or of any congregation that isn’t tied to the brick-and-mortar parochial system, online or in person. There are many “emerging church” congregations, but this clergy-dominated Commission has made no effort to engage any of them, beyond its commendably open invitation for anyone and everyone to comment.

They’re stuck in the past, and so is this list.++

Adding Mother Guerin just slays me. She was given RC sainthood just a few years ago after a janitor at her convent claimed a miraculous healing after he prayed to her. No joke, the guy's still alive and living in Indiana. (So much for the RC claim that they don't pray to saints.)

Adding Mother Guerin just slays me. She was given RC sainthood just a few years ago after a janitor at her convent claimed a miraculous healing when he prayed to her. No joke, the guy’s still alive and living in Indiana. (So much for the RC claim that they don’t pray to saints.)

Scholarships Help Make Retreat Affordable

The Daily Office has received three donations so far to defray the cost of attending our retreat this August in southern Indiana. Thank you, thoughtful contributors!

Donations are tax-deductible for U.S. citizens and will be kept anonymous. (We can use more, too.)

We are re-examining costs, $700 currently, to make sure we keep the retreat affordable. One possible target for cuts is the two side trips we currently have planned, which add $100 to the cost for bus transportation. I would hate to lose them – a trip to nearby Columbus, Indiana, which is world-famous for its modern architecture, including many churches, and a longer trip to Terre Haute to meet Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor and tour her CANDLES Museum, focusing on Josef Mengele’s infamous medical experiments on identical twins; Eva and her sister Miriam were two of his victims. Eva has the most remarkable insights on forgiveness that I’ve ever heard; but maybe we can show the documentary about her, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” instead.

ForgivingDrMengeleMrs. Kor is not a religious person; she came to a point where she had to forgive Mengele just so she could survive and not be imprisoned by the past. But hearing and watching her story, including the controversy her forgiveness generated, helped free me from the worst thing that ever happened to me, domestic violence at the hands of my father and enabler/mother, so I figured that a spiritual retreat that focuses in part on forgiveness could be really valuable to some people.

I forgave my parents on December 21, 2010, when I was 59, thanks to Eva Mozes Kor. I still have a sign on my wall reminding me about it, which has come in handy when more recent provocations have arisen.

As for the architecture, we can make that optional. The town is open on Sundays, of course, while the CANDLES Museum is not. I can head over to Columbus with anyone who wants to go when we’re done Sunday afternoon.

“Transformations” by Howard Meehan, on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University, Columbus, Indiana. (rickyberkey.org)

Why include the side trips at all? I wanted to let participants know that Indiana has more going for it than people expect, and since this is my home state, I wanted you to experience two unique offerings. But I don’t believe retreats should be expensive and I encourage anyone who would like to attend but thinks they can’t afford it to speak to me privately; my e-mail address is on every page of The Daily Office.

Our honorary deacon Clint Gilliland set the pattern for us when we started webcasting a year ago and found people really need to use a headset to participate. They only cost ten or twenty bucks, but what church would stop everyone at the door and say, “You can’t come in without these earphones”? So we decided that we would give headsets to anyone who can’t afford one; they’re paid for from our general fund. Jesus didn’t charge people when he fed the 5000 and neither do we. If you need a little help, speak to the Vicar – and don’t be offended if he speaks to you, not knowing your financial situation.

We don’t have our retreat leaders signed up yet, but tonight I contacted an experienced retreat leader in my parish, Amy J. Paget, and I’ve spoken to others about it; Deacon Lani is tentatively on board. I also want an experienced male leader but haven’t found one yet.

Once everything is settled we will open registrations – which is good because Waycross is wanting a deposit.

I close with this tip of the biretta to Steve Helmreich, who took me to Indiana Beach once and knows that…

Beach CrowI still have the coffee mug I bought that day; sometimes I sip from it while we’re reading Morning Prayer.++

Daily Office Retreat Schedule 2.0

WaycrossEntrance

Daily Office Community Retreat

Thursday August 13 – Sunday August 16, 2015

Waycross Conference Center
Brown County, Indiana

Workshops on Prayer – Liturgy – Anglican Rosary – Meditation & Centering Prayer – Vocation – Healing

Day Trips (Tentative)
Modern Art & Architecture, Columbus, Indiana
CANDLES Holocaust Museum hosted by Auschwitz survivor Eva Mozes Kor, Terre Haute, Indiana

Live Webcasts
4-Fold Office & Daily Eucharist
swimming – hiking – canoeing – birdwatching
Rosary Gift Exchange
S’mores by the campfire
Latenight euchre tournaments

Retreat Leaders (unconfirmed)
The Rev. Lani Nelson
The Rev. Gordon Chastain

LET’S MEET EACH OTHER!

Housing & Meals Included
Modern Accomodations, Private Baths
Double Occupancy, per person $97 x 3 = $291
Single Occupancy $127 x 3 = $381

Conference Fee & Materials $250
Airport Transportation (optional) $50
Day Transportation $100

$700 per person, double occupancy
$800 single occupancy

LIMIT 25 – Reserve your place today!!

THURSDAY

Check-in & Registration 3-4pm
(free time)
Plenary Session, 4pm: Welcome, Introductions, Personal Faith Timelines, Hopes & Expectations
Evening Prayer, 5pm
Dinner
Workshop 1 – Meditation & Centering Prayer, 7pm
Cocktail Hour/Social Time
Compline, 9pm
Euchre Tournament

FRIDAY

Breakfast
Morning Prayer Webcast – 9am
Workshop 2 – Vocation & Discernment, 9:45am
Noonday Prayer & Lunch, 12N
Day Trip 1 – Columbus Art & Architecture Tour, 1pm
Options: Nature Walk, 4pm
Options: Pool Party, 4pm
Options: Canoe Trip, 4pm
Holy Eucharist, 5:30pm
Dinner
Workshop 3 – Anglican Rosary, Practice & Craft, 7pm (Maria)
Evensong Webcast, 9pm
Campfire, Songs & S’mores, 9:30pm

SATURDAY

Breakfast
Morning Prayer – 9am
Workshop 4 – Prayer as the Work of Our Hands: Mother’s Cupboard, 10am
Noonday Prayer & Lunch, 12N
Day Trip 2 – CANDLES Holocaust Museum Tour, 1pm
Order of Worship for the Evening & Holy Eucharist, 5pm
Dinner
Workshop 5 – Prayer & Healing, 7pm (Lani)
Compline
Euchre Tournament

SUNDAY

Morning Prayer & Holy Eucharist
Breakfast
Workshop 6 – Integrating our Learnings, Noonday Liturgy & Rosary Exchange
Lunch
Departure

A Word from the Rosebud Reservation: Wopila

Rosebud children at the annual Vacation Bible School conducted for the past 12 years by members of Christ Church, Bethany, Connecticut.

Rosebud kids enjoying the GLORY youth activity series with Mother Lauren. Those looks are priceless!

Josh, following is the message I sent to Bishop Catherine [Waynick of the Diocese of Indianapolis] a few minutes ago. I waited so I could tell her how the money was spent, and want you to know as well. Blessings!

Dear Bishop Catherine:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing today to thank you for your part in helping us here on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Last month, DailyOffice.org sent $400 to the Rosebud Episcopal Mission (West) to help our people here with heating propane and firewood. Your gift alone helped two families receive propane and three other families sufficient firewood to heat their homes.

We cannot thank you enough for the assistance. As you may know, the Rosebud Reservation is one of the poorest counties in the United States, with 87 percent unemployment, nearly 100 percent of our children receiving free breakfast and/or lunch at school, and more than 60 percent of all residents receiving aid of some kind from the federal government, the state, or the Sicangu Lakota Tribe. With few prospects for development, more crime than we want to admit, and a high incidence of alcoholism and drug addiction, life on the Rosebud can be very difficult. It is part of the mission of the Episcopal Church here to help as many people in need as possible. We can only do so through help from Dioceses such as yours, and from numerous friends throughout the United States who serve as Ministry Partners.

On behalf of the families who were helped by your Diocese’s generosity, we say Wopila (Lakota for “thank you from the heart”).

Blessings and peace,

Lauren

The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley
Priest-in-Charge, Rosebud Mission West
Rosebud Reservation
P.O. Box 256
Mission, South Dakota, 57555-0256

Our Community Network Build Has Now Begun!

Lovely as this is, it is not a church.

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris (Wikimedia)

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris (Wikimedia)

It is a dazzling building erected for the glory of God and the edification of persons.

This is a church.

Members of the Diocese of Chicago playing with members of the Diocese of Southeast México, 2013.

Members of the Diocese of Chicago playing with members of the Diocese of Southeast México, 2013.

You can “have church” anywhere. You can “be church” only with other people.

This, so far, is The Daily Office version of church:

Some of my favorite people: a screen grab after one of our webcasts last year. We get together online five mornings a week, plus Friday nights.

Some of my favorite people: a screen grab after one of our webcasts last year. We get together online five mornings a week, plus Friday nights.

Community is everything. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together, I am in the midst of them.”

I am not the vicar of a website, or three websites, or a Facebook group. I am the Vicar of 5000 followers, most of whom do not know each other, but do know that they are part of an intentional community, and value their connection.

To remedy the fact that few of us have met, we’re holding a retreat this August in southern Indiana. But for years I have worked to bring us together in more ways – and now at last it appears my dearest dream is about to come true.

I’m so excited I could run around in circles like the Verger!

Luke resting at my knee a few days after I got him; he runs around in circles every day when he knows we're going outside. I call him the Verger because he likes to tug on his leash and show me where to go.

Luke resting at my knee a few days after I got him; he runs around in circles every day when he knows we’re going outside. I call him the Verger because he likes to tug on his leash and show me where to go.

To promote community – people knowing each other, sharing their lives, and working together for holy purposes – I have long wanted to develop a social network. John M. came up with the idea for us years ago, and I have struggled ever since to make it happen – made phone calls to developers and coders and marketers, written e-mails, asked for grants, raised money – all to no avail, until now.

But as of Friday, the work has begun!

Here is the person who’s finally making it happen – in one fortuitous conversation, by hooking me up with a web professional she knows.

Former journalist and television news producer Kathy Copas of the Diocese of Indianapolis.

Former journalist and television news producer Kathy Copas, Communications and Evangelism Officer of the Diocese of Indianapolis.

We met in a private chat on Friday with Tony Schlisser of Pages & PCs in Louisville, Kentucky. Tony is IndyDio’s main computer whiz, responsible for 50 or more individual websites under the diocesan umbrella, including our donation page. Lately he’s been helping me develop a new, unified “landing page” for our three Daily Office sites (Americas, Asia-Pacific and Oficio Diario in Spanish). We are the Daily Office Network now, with a logo and everything. You’ve seen our logo; I should put it on this blog too, but I only now thought of it. Our logo’s gotten rave reviews.

daily office logo

In the course of developing this landing page, where all our sites will converge under the dailyoffice.org roof, I happened to mention on Friday what all this is leading toward, our own social network. Somehow this was the first Tony had heard of it – though I thought surely I had mentioned it before; I’ve been talking about it so long I think everyone I know has heard of it. But he hadn’t. And then…

PrestoTheMagician

He solved it in five seconds!

(Cue the rat terrier turning triple axels.)

Tony knew what Kathy and I didn’t, that WordPress, our bloghost, also offers a social networking application called BuddyPress. Thus one problem that’s stymied me repeatedly – what platform to use – he solved instantly.

What’s significant is that our current blogs must integrate seamlessly with the social network, so that you can go from one to the other with a simple click without ever leaving our site.

We’re not looking to do a churchy version of Facebook here, but to use the strengths of social networking to “be” the church.

The most fun part of our Morning Prayer webcasts happens after we pray; we move into our virtual Parish Hall, where we can see everyone’s face much better, and we chatter like magpies.

CommonMagpie

We have the beginnings of a timeline now for our long-awaited site makeover and expansion. We hope to have our new landing page debut on Easter Day. It will feature much bigger, widescreen art on the title page, with 3 buttons so you can choose which site you use for prayer; maybe we’ll use that photo above from Sainte-Chapelle so you can see it in all its glory. Every day I want you to see a photo or painting that gets you in the mood to enter into God’s presence. Every day when you come I want you to say, “Yes, this is the right place.”

Shortly after Easter Padre Mickey’s Oficio Diario site will be moving to WordPress; all three sites will have new URLs (probably subdomains of dailyoffice.org), including automatic forwarding so nobody has to change their bookmarks right away. And then, later in the summer we’ll open our new social network, which I haven’t named yet.

Dana Carvey on "SNL."

Dana Carvey on “SNL.”

I have gotten to know hundreds of you in the ten years since I founded our first site. You are great people, incredibly engaged with Jesus Christ and working hard to bring Good News to a hurting world. It’s time you met each other.

As I said, I don’t expect our social network to replace Facebook; after all, we have 2600 members there and dozens more arriving every week. But I hope, once you look us over, you’ll also join our network and make new friends for socializing, sharing, writing, linking, laughing, weeping, praying and working. It should also be a great place to let other people know what’s going on in your parish, diocese and neighborhood that may interest them.

My greatest hope is that we will use it for mission purposes. Publicize your concert, your trip to Haiti or South Sudan, your prison ministry, your health services. Spread the Good Word!

It will be essential that our core group of 5000 decide to join and make it work. So you can expect that we’ll be promoting it heavily. Here’s why.

HereLiesVera

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, just one year after we launched our Daily Office site, thousands of people died, including Vera Briones Smith. Hundreds of churches were damaged or destroyed. Whole cities were ruined. I tried to compose a prayer that could begin to express our collective grief and loss and confusion.

And because our site is oriented in part toward praying about the events of the day – not just your personal piety, like other sites – we had a huge jump in traffic. People needed to pray, because we felt so helpless.

In the days afterward, thousands of Christians and other citizens from all walks of life rushed to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to help survivors rebuild their lives. Our site raised money for Episcopal Relief and Development.

And while the teevee focused so much on New Orleans, our members knew that Mississippi was devastated just as bad if not worse – because we showed pictures of churches, where the only thing left was the bell that used to hang in the steeple but then was sitting in the front yard. Ocean Springs, Pass Christian – we learned the names of these places – Pensacola, Bayou La Batre, Bay St. Louis, Metairie and more.

As recovery began, we showed that too – worship the following Sunday, with everyone gathered around the rubble and the bell.

We stayed on it for weeks, while our competition kept acting as if nothing happened. When the Bishop of Mississippi wrote a prayer, I took down mine and put up his.

Today, if we’re able to create a viable social network for Episcopalians and Friends, we’ll be much more able to respond to the next disaster.

That’s the kind of mission work I’m talking about – along with the everyday emergencies of war and peace, homelessness, hunger, ignorance, hatred, materialism, scapegoating, imprisonment, environmental degradation, racism, injustice and everything else that God abhors about human beings.

How God’s able to love us through all of this I’ll never understand. But then God is God, and I am not. Thank God!

Famine is spreading in South Sudan tonight. Episcopalians are going hungry along with 150,000 of their fellow citizens. I want us to get food to those people, along with celebrating every birth and birthday, graduation and new job, accomplishment and disappointment, illness and healing, life and death. That’s what a Christian social network can uniquely do, so that’s why I want one.

Our friend Deacon Letha used Facebook this weekend to publicize a concert at her church, Midway Baptist in Midway, Kentucky, a fundraiser for one of their frequent mission trips to Haiti. They raised $2100 while the town was covered in two feet of snow!!!

[UPDATE: Letha says that a Haitian couple, now living in Louisville, Ky., saw a notice about this concert on social media and drove 75 miles to little Midway so they could attend! A bit of virality started up, which is what social networks are so good at. That’s how the Church first got started, you know; Jesus went viral.]

It was a "Love/Haiti" thing last night at Midway Baptist Church in Kentucky. (Letha Tomes Drury on Facebook)

It was a “Love/Haiti” thing last night at Midway Baptist Church in Kentucky. (Letha Tomes Drury on Facebook)

The thing is, it’s easy for this kind of event to get lost in the vastness of Facebook, with all its celeb news, politics, hookups, advertising, gaming and cat videos. What a person gets out of Facebook depends entirely on who their friends are – and for everyone, those friends are a diverse group. I’m tired of fighting an insatiably greedy, privacy-crushing mega-corporation over the contents of my news feed. I don’t care that you just won at Crazy Birds, bought a tractor at FarmTown or found a clue at MurderMystery. I don’t want to see racy pictures of you and the person you’re dating. I’m not going to shop at my nearest Chick Fil-A, Pizza Rot or Walmart. And if I never see another racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Obamacare, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant rant I will like that just fine!

Yes to pictures of the “grandcubs,” the books you’re reading, the songs you recommend, the food you cooked, the flowers you grew, your concert for Haiti – and double-yes to Tim’s 40-second video of one-year-old Jackson’s first steps.

Taking Jackson for a ride.

Taking Jackson for a ride.

I just figure that Christians have a need to hang out with each other sometimes, even if our conversation is less than pious. And the chance to do a little good isn’t something I want to pass up.

Get this – the Diocese of Indianapolis will host our network for free. Unlimited bandwidth and storage, Tony says; just tell him what I want and he’ll try to find a way.

Kathy Copas is worth her weight in frankincense!

So watch for all these changes, and if you can spare a prayer please give us one.

Thank you, Lord, for making me a home in the Diocese of Indianapolis.

TECWelcomesYouRainbow.400
Think of this: if our new social site works for Episkies, it will work for progressive Christians of all colors.++