Satire makes front page of Anglicans Online

Well, well … things have been happening since I’ve been away. My friend Kelvin informed me today that I made the front page of the Anglicans Online website!

The article appears on the Anglican’s Online archive and reads:

In reading our favourite Anglican publication recently, we noted a reference to a Scottish Episcopal parody site called ‘Taking the Episcopalian’ and, admidst the delightful silliness of vestment models, liturgy guides, and trouser albs, we found Risk: Anglican Communion Windsor Report Edition, which states that:

The object [of the game] is to conquer all 44 Anglican Church Provinces on the board, thus preserving the theological integrity of the worldwide Anglican Church.

The game doesn’t really exist, of course, and there’s no such business as Potting Shed games. We were sufficiently amused by the idea that we thought briefly about offering this game at our Anglicans Online Shop, but reason reined us in when we realized that the copyright owner of the real Risk game would not be amused.

But then we realized that it might not be necessary. This week’s rumour that an Anglican leader will soon call for the expulsion of England from the Anglican Communion made us stop and wonder whether we’re not just living out the Anglican edition of Risk. The online ‘news’ services whose vitriolic and dubious writing astound us suddenly make perfect sense—they’re not writing about the world in which we pay our bills and fret about being overweight, they are writing about the imaginary world of Anglican Risk. A ringside seat for the game of global domination.

There! We’ve made a bit more sense out of the world around us, and we feel good about it.

See you next week. Oh, and it’s your move; roll the dice.

This week Anglicans Online received a letter of complaint:

Global cleansing?

I was at once amused, saddened, and struck by your “Anglican Risk” analogy of the current goings on in the Anglican Communion. As someone who grew up playing Risk, I know that the object of the game involves making sure that the entire world is uniform–united under one color which had better be yours. One starts the game with many colors (players), sometimes scattered around the world map that is the game board. Yet by dint of stretegy, alliences, luck, and even treachery, a gloriously uniform world emerges.

I hesistate to join the conspiracy theorists on either the liberal or conservative side of this debate, but it seems that we are less and less able and willing to go into the world and preach the Gospel and more and more able and willing to expend huge amounts of energy “cleansing” the church — which, of course means making it all the correct color of theology — mine. I don’t think that people are leaving the church (or not joining) because of our theology or lack thereof. I think they are asking the question: “Do I really want to be part of a church that is having this fight?”

God save us from such inward-looking and spiritually poisonous ecclesiastical civil war so that we might once again look outward and combat the Enemy that can destroy both soul and body and who delights in a divided, distracted, and defensive church.

The Rev. Tom Sramek, Jr.
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
Albany, Oregon, USA
7 August 2005

I’m get the impression that Americans don’t get satire. Today I also received an email from another US Episcopalian clergyman asking to buy a copy of the game.

It’s satire!!

Back to the blog

I’ve been away — you may have noticed that — at the Scottish Episcopal Church‘s Provincial Youth Network’s youth week at Glenalmond College, Perthshire. An amazing experience, hugely encouraging with some wonderful young people.

While I was away I had intermittent internet access, courtesy of a fellow leader’s Apple AirPort, so was able to check some email from time to time. But I felt a certain liberation from having neither mobile phone reception nor internet access. Life felt much simpler and slower.

I wasn’t able to connect to my blog, however. Somewhere amidst the hacking activities of the last couple of weeks my user account password was changed and I wasn’t able to login. My webhosts quickly identified the vulnerabilities and these have been patched and upgraded. Today I reset my password (manually on the MySQL database) and hey! I’m back.

And exhausted!