Our all-time Cafe favorites

Perhaps my favorite story that has ever appeared on the Cafe was published in early April 2008. It was written by Andrew Gerns and began:

As a part of opening week festivities, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced today that the Episcopal Church has been designated the Official Denomination of Major League Baseball. The move was announced today in a teleconference with reporters.

“Faith oriented promotions have increasingly become a part of many minor league team,” Selig said. “We felt that it was time to tap into this important demographic.”

“We also want to reinforce our family friendly image while at the same time reaching out to a wide cross section of life-styles, incomes and tastes,” Selig said. “We are pleased that the Episcopal Church will join us in this first partnership between a major sport and a church.”

Many denominations were considered for the endorsement. Some traditions did not make bids for theological reasons, but unnamed sources described the behind the scenes competition as intense.

Alas, it was an April Fools post.

I have asked others on the news team to chip in with reflections on their favorite stories.

It’s hard for me (John Chilton) to pick a single favorite. If I let my schadenfreude side out, it would be hard to leave out Andrew Gerns’ March 2013 piece in The Cafe titled Practical Donatism at work in Virginia. It covered the kerfuffle in ACNA over the friendship between the rector of Truro (ACNA) and the bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Tory Baucum’s bishop advised him to end his friendship with Bishop Johnston. A year later, and the New York Times is reporting on what is apparently a continuing friendship.

One of my favorites is Memories and Stories by Scott Fischer at the Art Blog. So many items too little time to share all my faves. ~Ann Fontaine

I agree (Andrew Gerns) that there are so many stories and so little time. One of the stories I was proudest to have written was a two-parter in the Daily Episcopalian from 2008 “Who Pays for Polly?” and “We All Paid for Polly.”

Deciding what category a story belongs in is an interesting posting challenge. In looking back over the index of seven years of Cafe stories in The Lead, I think my favorite category is “Religion in America”. Jim’s piece “Jim Wallis speaks for whom?” and Torey Lightcap’s collection of 9/11 sermons in 2011 and Nick Knisely’s piece “Black Friday: maybe we should chill” are three examples of what I think the Cafe does particularly well.

Chiming in late. I liked two April Fools pieces: one (by me) on how Justin Welby couldn’t find the loo at Lambeth Palace, and one by Andrew Gerns about a Palm Sunday procession that ended up in a donut shop. Ann Fontaine’s thoughts on Christianizing seder suppers was as helpful as it was provocative. John Chilton’s ongoing reportage of the drama in Virginia was great. My all-time favorite, though, would have to be Jim’s “A dumb question I have been meaning to ask.” It takes 30 seconds to read and makes all the sense in the world. -Torey Lightcap

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