7/03/2008

Fr.Jake stops the Anglican world, shakes us up, and moves on...other blogs to come.

Back when blogging in Anglican Land was younger and the scars not so deep, (in Advent 2006) I wrote this about Terry Martin, aka Fr. Jake.

"Readers of this blog must recognize by now that I am an admirer of Fr. Jake Stops the World.

I am for many reasons, not the least is the title itself. But, truth be known I am also admiring of his visage, both in cartoon form and in photograph.Here are both, for your viewing pleasure. Please note the use of hats, the fine mustache, the shades, the hint of a sneer. He is hip, he is a priest forever after the order of .... well, who knows. I was never quite sure until today when someone pointed to a new song with the voice of Fr. Guido Sarducci. Now I realize Fr. Jake and Fr. Guido are surely of the same order, if not brothers.


A picture of the well known Fr. Sarducci reveals all: Notice the same clerical garb, the same slant of the hat, the same mustache, the shades, the hint of a sneer. These are two priests cut from the same cloth. God bless their little hearts.

Don Novello, the one behind the good Father said in a San Francisco Cronicle article that he realised that he was setting the bar pretty high ...

Our own Fr. Jake sets high bars in other ways, and I wish him the best, and his alter ego too."

I looked again at Fr. Jake's confession, which can be read HERE. He submits the following proof that he is who he says he is:

He says, "My name is Terry Martin, and I am an eclectic and sometimes eccentric Episcopal priest. I'm the one in the picture not wearing purple. I would imagine that most of you recognize the gentleman standing with me."
...Well, fair enough. Disclosure is a wonderful thing and I am sure we all feel better knowing who Fr. Jake is... but do we really? We know who Terry Martin is... he's the fellow not in purple, etc., but Fr. Jake never says he is Terry Martin or that Tarry Martin is he. In fact near the end of his "outing" message Terry clearly distinguishes himself from Fr. Jake. He says, "Jake represents my own thoughts, which are not always appropriately expressed within the environments in which I have been called to serve." There is still the supposition of difference here...

Knowing and trusting both Fr. Jake and Terry I chose still the possibility that BOTH Fr. Jake and Terry Martin are disguising themselves as Fr. Guido Sarducci. How else are we to explain the continuing Sarducci look of Fr. Jake and the unwillingness of Terry to post his own picture on the blog's front page?

Instead what we have is an odd hint at the bottom of his sidebar - you have to scroll forever to get to it. It is this:


Perhaps Fr. Jake and Terry Martins have some sort of sunglasses fetish. Perhaps they are both figments of Fr. Sarducci's imagination. But perhaps, both are extensions of the Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood, with Terry for Jake and Sarducci for Elwood.

This theory, an advanced form of my former assertion that Fr. Jake is Fr. Sarducci, has at least this truth going for it:

Fr. Jake and Terry Martin are, like the Blues Brothers, on a mission from God.

And we, dear friends, are beneficiaries.

Fr. Jake, Terry, whoever you really are, may you have a million more visitors. I will call several times to be added to the number."

Well, it turns out that Fr. Jake, aka Fr. Terry Martin has done his job over on "Fr. Jake Stops the World." It turns out he stopped it long enough for lots of us to drop by and chat up the good Fr. Jake on all sorts of issues. FJSTW is closing down.

This is in the fine emerging tradition of blogging in the Anglican blog sphere: A blog works to do its mission and then it ends and others take up the effort in new ways.

But others will arise. Terry promises as much when he says in his final message to the Fr. Jake community, "
I'm not giving up blogging, however. That's one addiction that I have yet to kick! I’ll most likely be opening up a new place in a couple of months. I’ll be writing under my real name. I think it is time that Jake and Terry merged as one personality again. The focus will be different. Little or no church politics. Lots of listening to faith stories from around the world. I can’t point to the new site, as it doesn’t exist yet. But, you’ll be able to find it, if you really want to."

I FOR ONE CAN HARDLY WAIT.

There are new blogs and web sites arising on the progressive side of the aisle, perhaps the most important new web site being the Chicago Consultation whose goals are
  • "To strengthen the movement toward the blessing of same sex relationships.
  • To advance the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians in all orders of ministry.
  • To strengthen the Anglican Communion’s witness against racism, poverty, sexism, heterosexism, and other interlocking oppressions."
In blogland, I am starting a new blog along side Preludium, titled "Anglican Communion Redux." By happy coincidence, Terry and I share a common concern, which he puts this way:
" I think it is time to end this focus on internal squabbles, and begin to look outward."

On Preludium I will continue to look at the strange goings on in Anglican Land, but over at "Anglican Communion Redux" I will be posting essays that are about refocusing on the positive work of the Anglican Communion, which fellowship of churches I believe will continue to be a vital force in the work of the Gospel. In Anglican Land there are is excellent writing going on related to the work and ministry of churches that are part of the Anglican Communion. Many of these are noted on Episcopal Cafe, some are noted by Episcopal News Service, and occasionally by TitusOneNine, but most are on separate blogs.

On ACR (Anglican Communion Redux) I will be posting short quotes and links to articles that are, I believe, positive, progressive and clearly Anglican expressions of Christian faith and thought. Of course my selection will be opinionated and of course I will post some of my own stuff. We will see how that works.

Terry Martin has done an amazing job over the five years he has written as Fr. Jake. He is a gifted and faithful priest and a damn fine writer.

Wherever he goes, we will be close behind, picking up crumbs under the table, etc. Maybe I will find his shades and join him and the Blues Brothers on their Mission from God.



12 comments:

  1. Jake will be missed more than I can say (but his departure might increase your blog traffic - so there's that)

    ;)

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  2. Thanks, Mark. This is a fine and well deserved tribute to "Jake." I look forward to both of y'alls new blogs.

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  3. Is ACR already up? Eagerly waiting as I absorb the loss of a blog I came to read more frequently than my habitual New York Times.

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  4. More than any other Episcopal blogger, Father Jake not only made the community aware of interesting developments in the Anglican world, but he also offered his shrewd analysis of them, thereby adding value to what might otherwise have been rather pedestrian posts. He will be missed, and the disappearance of the Jake corpus will be a loss to those still enlisted in defense of The Episcopal Church against the insurgents.

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  5. Mark, what a beautiful tribute to Terry/Jake and his amazing contributions over five years. "He da man!"

    Godspeed to you with your new project, ACR. Another acronym but, thanks be to God! not another sect, or schism, or "church". I'm looking forward to it.

    I'm proud to be in that number of saints like Terry, Tobias, and you, Mark. And yes, we are saints - saints meaning friends of God - no better or no worse than other friends of God.

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  6. It figures. Just as I was beginning to dive into the Anglican blogs, the blogfather of them all shuts down. Talk about timing. I barely got to read a thing! Ah, well, I look forward to his future endeavors, and to yours.

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  7. Respectfully, as I lean on this blog MORE, with (beloved) Jake's departure, I would request you adopt his policy of (para.) "If something you say would cause me to show you the door in my home, it will cause me to show you the door here, too."

    My blood pressure just can't take the toxicity that you've allowed to remain posted on Preludium on too many occasions, Mark. (And because of the posting delay, we can't surround such garbage w/ recipes, as at Jake's, either!)

    It's your blog, of course, but I'm just sayin'...

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  8. I'm sorry to see "Jake" go -- he was a regular stop for me to read at -- but I know that Terry will continue the good work he feels called to do. Many thanks to him.

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  9. jcf... I too find some of the comments on posts here toxic. But I don't remove many of them because toxic or not they tell us something about the mindset, thoughts, spiritual place, etc of some of those making comments. To some extent the comments help us know the depth and width of the divide.

    If you have any suggestions as to how to allow as many comments as possible without making for poison, I'd like to hear them.

    Thanks again.

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  10. I'm in California recovering from Jakeaddiction...I'm still twitching with withdrawl and the nightmares haven't stopped along with the sweats and dry heaves...oh what will I do, oh what will be do? It almost seems as if I've been sent to Halls!

    Thanks for the kind tribute to Jake/Terry, Mark...you're a wonderful/brilliant fellow too.

    Leonardo Ricardo

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  11. Anyone missing our Fr. Jake is welcome to take a gander at a new blog some of us have started in his wake:

    The Friends of Jake

    Visitors should note, however, that the admins (including me) will not tolerate incivility, trolling, offensiveness, or downright lying in the comment threads. Such comments will be deleted w/o warning. Basically, as Jake used to say, if a comment would get you thrown out of my house, it'll get you thrown out here, too.

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  12. Br RAF in Chicago12/7/08 4:14 PM

    Thanks for the Jake/Terry comments, Mark. I'll certainly miss his blog. Since I've known you longer [in person to boot] I'll continue to read your insightful comments, and will have to check out your new efforts at Redux as well.

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.