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Re: Playing Hymns with a Cyber Leper's Bell
Thank you for your thoughtful, sensitive post.
I maintain numerous discussion lists, including one for the Diocese of
Newark and one for the bishops, deputies, and CCAB members. Civility is
indeed a desirable goal. At any site that I influence, civility must
begin with me.
I will not promote civility if I assume the role of censor. When someone
else becomes truly uncivil, groups are quite able to make corporate
decisions, and do.
In my web presence and in my work maintaining discussions, I do not see
myself as the choreographer. Good choreographers control almost every
move. Instead, I am the host and server, welcoming my enemies and friends
alike with prodigal hospitality, hoping to suggest the hospitality with
which God has welcomed us all. Few other chores give me as much pleasure
as I get when trying to run down information requested by someone who
has spoken ill of me and people like me.
The Episcopal Church is rich in its democratic heritage. That heritage is
not nurtured when we choose to unlink parts of the body, whether out of
fear or out of aesthetics.
One of the reasons most diocesan websites and publications have so few
readers is that they so obviously have laundered points of view and
participants. It's fairly easy to get someone to come to your site once
or twice, but the visitors must be fed if we expect them to return again
> If no discourse about polarizing issues existed in our congregations,
> in our diocesan newspaper, or on the convention floor, THEN we'd be
> chicken...plucka plucka.
You're absolutely right there.
For a quarter of a century I have found it much easier to reach and engage
my enemies as well as my friends directly than I have found it to get
through the barriers of silence set up by Episcopal communicators, who, I
am sure, feel that they have the best of intentions.
Church communicators are the ones most prone to violate the 3rd
commandment, as it is we who most frequently speak in God's name. That is
an awesome responsibility, since She loves absolutely everybody.
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/lbg_edir.html "The best way to find out
about new research on issues of sexuality"--Chronicle of Higher Education
---- The part above replies to:
Subject: Re: Playing a Hymn with a Cyber Leper's Bell
Date: 1 Jun 2001 14:00:20 GMT
A diocesan communicator is a peculiar animal.
I think many of us question which links to place on our web sites and are
concerned about how those links will be perceived by members of the
For me, the concern arises not out of a sense of fear or a desire to stay
comfortably away from the hard issues but out of a deep desire to keep
everyone talking in a civil and understanding way. I am going to make
content choices based on what I perceive best serves our life as a
diocese...what supports the notion that WE, all of us bound together, are
the Body of Christ in this place and that there is a lot of work to do. If
no discourse about polarizing issues existed in our congregations, in our
diocesan newspaper, or on the convention floor, THEN we'd be
Part of the role of the diocesan communicator, in concert with other
diocesan leaders, is to be a choreographer of the dance we all do around
another. (Just what we need, huh? A new role to add to our job
descriptions.) If that means nixing some web links, so be it. I do it all
the time, but not because I'm afraid. And I expect I am not alone.
Diocese of XXXX