Diocesan Life for October 2011

You can download the 2.4 MB .pdf here: Download October2011_DiocesanLife_SMALL

Episcopal Cafe a "religion in the public sphere" top blog

The Episcopal Café appears in a ranking of "nearly 100 of the most influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about religion in the public sphere and the academy." (The proprietor of Spiritual Politics, Mark Silk, wryly notes, "OK, you're asking, how many non-influential such blogs are there? Now now, the number, no doubt, is legion." )

The report by the Social Science Research Council is intended to "spark discussion among religion bloggers that will take their work further, while also inviting new voices from outside existing networks to join in and take part."

What is the significance of blogs like the Cafe? The report says:

In old-guard organizations like the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations, blogging has created space for discourse that leans against prevailing trends. At sites like Progressive Revival, Episcopal Cafe, and the Christian Century’s Theolog, mainliners maintain a rich public conversation about the present and future of their communities. They do so, meanwhile, often outside the auspices of traditional ecclesial bodies (whose populations are in a state of decline), possibly pointing toward a shift in the locus of intellectual leadership.

The Diocese of Bethlehem has two connections with The Episcopal Cafe. The first is that one of the people who cooked up the idea of an internet magazine for and about the Episcopal Church was Fr. Nick Knisely, who was rector of Trinity in Bethlehem and is now dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. It was Nick who came to me and asked to me a contributor and part of the news team when my own blog is one of the "legion" of less influential religion blogs out there. Come to think of it, we should count a third connection: Jim Naughton, until recently the Canon for Communications in the Diocese of Washington and circus master and lion tamer of this diverse group grew up in Scranton.

Read the rest here.

--posted by Andrew Gerns

Episcopal priest on "What Not to Wear."

The Rev. Emily Bloemker thought she was going to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis to talk about their dioceses partnership with the diocese of Lui in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. Surprise! Instead of leading an adult forum, she ended up being the subject of her favorite television show, TLC's "What Not to Wear."

According to Lisa Fox blogging on "My Manner of Life,"

Emily is a smart, passionate, joyful, no-B$ priest. As I hear it, she is a fan of the What Not To Wear show and expressed a wish they could do a wardrobe make-over for her. Apparently, some of her friends contacted the show. And the show decided to take her on.

Then Mike Kinman invited Emily to deliver a presentation on Sudan early this year at Christ Church Cathedral. Except it wasn’t really a Sudan session. It was a set-up … into which the What Not to Wear Duo sprang. My St. Louis friends tell me it was a very pleasant evening. Apparently, Mike had warned the crew that they were filming in a church, and a certain decorum must be obeyed. From all I have heard, it was a delightful evening with much good-natured banter between the show’s crew and the gathered Episcopalians.

The promo reads: "Emily is your typical single girl with one divine difference... she's an Episcopal priest. She may have been called by a higher power but her friends and family called Stacy and Clinton. Can Emily find a feminine style that balances her youthful energy?"

The episode will be broadcast on TLC at Friday, February 5th at 9 pm.

--Posted by Andrew Gerns