Saturday, 19 September 2015


Kelvin Holdsworth Dear Straight People – Greenbelt Talk 2015

Tim Schenck 7 Habits of Highly Annoying Clergy on Social Media

The Bishop of Swindon Disruptive Learning

Archdruid Eileen Automating the Vicar

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

What an annoying article by Tim Schnenck. I read it. There's two minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 1:52pm BST

What a realistic article by Kelvin Holdsworth. I read it. There's five minutes of my life I'd not trade for most anything.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 3:57pm BST

What an excellent article by Kelvin Holdsworth; should be mandatory reading.

Posted by: Nathaniel Brown on Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 6:53pm BST

@ Leonardo Ricardo and Nathaniel Brown. I took your advice and read Kelvin Holdsworth's article. I gave it a pass this morning, probably because the title didn't get my attention. Good article, although it took me longer than five minutes to read it. Grateful I didn't need Facebook to access it. I've read his blog on occasion, but learned something more about him by reading this. Gutsy guy.

I found the Tim Schenck piece annoying (pun intended) because (1) I'm not into Facebook and (2) it reminded me of what I call the unwritten ordination vow i.e. will you be diligent in taking every opportunity to point out the faults of your fellow clergy?

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 11:41pm BST

Significant that the Bishop of Swindon translates aletheia as "reality" rather than "truth". It's truth that will set God's people free, all of them. But "Reality"? That rather depends whose reality we are talking about.

Posted by: ExRevd on Sunday, 20 September 2015 at 12:53am BST

Rod - What's Facebook? :)

Posted by: Nathaniel Brown on Sunday, 20 September 2015 at 7:06pm BST

It's true that a lot of foolishness goes on in the wonderful world of Facebook. But as a pastor in 2015 I don't have the luxury of refusing to use it. For many of my parishioners, it's their communication medium of choice. They left email behind a long time ago.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 10:35am BST

@ Tim Chesterton, "as a pastor in 2015 I don't have the luxury of refusing to use it." As a retired pastor, I do. The ancient myths offer a cautionary tale on this matter, don't you find?

"as [Narcissus] cast himself down, exhausted, on the grassy verge to slake his thirst, he fell in love with his reflection." ( Robert Graves)

What you say about email is correct. In fact, in terms of social media in general,some days I think we might be better off with a Trappist approach to life, i.e. can the chatter, enjoy a beverage, and speak when required. But then what would the angels say if they looked down from heaven and saw that the wee Gillis was not online?

@ Nathaniel Brown, "Rod - What's Facebook? :)"

I think its the digital version of what Plato describes in the allegory of the cave.
(Republic: Book VII). ( ;

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 2:31pm BST

Rod: here's one example.

When my generation wanted to do a study/discussion thing, we organized a workshop, study group etc, and met face to face.

My youngest daughter is 32. When her generation wants to do that, they first start a conversation on social media. Then, if there's enough interest, someone says 'Let's have a metope and talk some more about this'.

Talk about Plato and Narcissus all you want. That's the reality I live in.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 4:50pm BST

Punchy, challenging talk by Kevin Holdsworth. His attacks on hypocritical 'liberals' were well-aimed, always so long as 'liberals' meant soi-disant 'liberal' BISHOPS, whom I quite agree there is little reason to respect. My personal conscience in this area is reasonably clear.

Posted by: John on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 6:52pm BST

@ Tim Chesterton, "Talk about Plato and Narcissus all you want. That's the reality I live in."

Well, Tim, I hardly expect we'll go back to carrier pigeons. Surely, you must have picked up that my comments were partly tongue in cheek. However, the tension between theoria and praxis remains. Use of a popular medium does not obviate a critical appraisal of the same. Mythology offers us some insights, no?

We are in the midst of a federal election in Canada. I've lost count of how many candidates, from various parties, have been kicked off their party's ticket because someone came up with a screen shot of highly inappropriate past comments made by said candidates on a social media platform.

Marshall McLuhan once said that media are an extension of our central nervous system. Lots of food for thought in reference to social media around things like impulse control.

McLuhan also had some interesting things to say about masks and roles. I haven't quite figured out yet if the virtual immediacy of social media means people are appearing without their mask, or on the other hand, if they are appearing with a kind of mask. Perhaps it is both. Perhaps a solution to the problem may lie in a word from antiquity, its use attributed to Jesus in the gospels. That is the word hypocrite, essentially a word grounded in the notion of someone wearing a mask in public, engaging in pretense, playing a role?

" ... everybody at the speed of light tends to become a nobody. This is what's called the masked man. The masked man has no identity. He is so deeply involved in other people that he doesn't have any personal identity."

-Marshall McLuhan, Forward Through The Rearview Mirror.

How very Facebookish.

Posted by: Rod gillis on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 10:03pm BST

The Bishop of Swindon gives us a rare insight into the training given to the select talent pool and one word seems to dominate his report - ANXIETY. "learning anxiety" "organisational anxiety" "survival anxiety". Wise counsel, as ever, comes from the Bishop of Chelmsford - an anxious Church is an unattractive Church. Even wiser advice is to be found in the Epistle to the Philippians (4:6)"Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 at 8:02am BST
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