Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Kudos to Father Jake

Back in the early autumn of 2003, I was one of those who knew that something very important had occurred when General Convention consented to the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. But when GC adjourned … and while I awaited his consecration in November … not a word was being spoken from the Episcopal Church's official news outlets. (Thank goodness, I sense those were very different days for ENS!) I e-mailed some friends, asking, "Where can I get current, up-to-date news?" These dear friends sent me to Virtue's site; at the time, it was about the only site that was carrying rapid-fire news about TEC.

Of course … you know what kind of "news" I got there. Hate-mongering vitriol, followed by the most vile, hateful comments. I still remember that day. I read that site, and literally wept. I had not realized that some "Episcopalians" or "Anglicans" hated TEC and me so very, very much.

But – oh happy day! – I also found there an attack on and a link to the eccentric and sometimes-heretical site of Father Jake! Thanks be to God! I clicked over to his site, and found "my people." The rest is history. Since sometime late in 2003, Father Jake's site has been my go-to venue when I need to know not just what's going on, but what kind of context to put it in. Father Jake never fails to offer thoughtful reflections on the news of the day. Then, from Father Jake's site, I found other friendly spaces in the blogosphere, which I still frequent.

Father Jake was my window into the wider progressive Episcopal blogosphere, and I still am grateful that he rescued me from that Bad Place. Jake doesn't always capture the news at the very moment of its creation as some others (like EpiScope and Thinking Anglicans and The Lead) do. Instead, he ponders it for a bit and offers analysis and reflection. Sometimes, he tells us to take it easy, reminding us of those words: "Peace! Be still." Almost always, he urges us to engage our minds and think in long terms. Sometimes, he helps us focus our holy rage. And all the time he keeps his site a safe space in which we can vent our anger, our hurt, our questions, our hopes and our dreams for this beloved church of ours.

Many's the time that I have e-mailed Jake in gratitude or just given quiet thanks for the time and care he devotes to the "virtual parish" that has grown up on his site. I absolutely do not know how he manages to exercise his real-life pastoral duties along with the work he does in the blogosphere! Does this man never sleep??

Today's a good one for me to express my gratitude in public, for Father Jake registered his 1,000,000th hit on New Year's Day. Yes, one million! Imagine!! I know I account for many of those hits, as I visit his site daily, and often many times in a day.

Unlike 2003, today we have a great many progressive Episcopal sites and blogs to visit. But I'll always think of Father Jake as the pioneer, the one who was here from the get-go, and the one who is still faithfully here with us. About a year ago (if memory serves), Father Jake toyed with the idea of leaving the blogosphere; I thought then, as I do now, "to whom, then, will we turn?"

And, for better or worse, I have Father Jake to "thank" for introducing me to that wild and crazy Brit, the Priest Who Is Mad. MadPriest offers a great tribute here, noting how all the faithful attend to Father Jake's words:

Happy #1,000,000, Father Jake. I am deeply, profoundly grateful for the ministry you provide.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very nice tribute!

1/03/2008 2:03 AM  
Blogger Caminante said...

Great photo shoppie too :)

1/03/2008 11:33 AM  

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