A Litte Mercy Now and Then. 2000 Blog Entries and Forward.

I'm in Oakland, California in a Live/Work studio and apartment, visiting my daughter and her loved one.

A friend sent me a text message yesterday. It read, "Traveling Mercies." 

"Traveling Mercies." I don't know where the phrase came from, but I know mercies, traveling and otherwise.

Thankfulness expressed...Mercy, Merci.

So I am thankful for all sorts of things these days related to travel, to life, to family, church, community, and on and on.

Among the things I give thanks for is the opportunity to think about, write about, and otherwise consider the life of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  

Here in blogland, on Preludium, I have now written 2000 entries, some of them no more than a paragraph pointing the readers of Preludium to some bit of the internet flotsam and jetsam that is of interest, some of them long essays either by me or by people I admire, but most are about Anglican land the years since Lambeth 1998.  

2000 entries since January 2005. As near as I can figure it, that means writing about one entry every 1.4 days.  

Under the heading of mercies, this effort involves I suppose "blogging mercies." 

I have almost quit several times, but have kept on keeping on, returning again and again to the Church local and global, to life in The Episcopal Church in particular, and its work in the wider Communion.  

I have written under constraint at times, knowing people in what is called "high places" and or being privy to conversations in Executive Council and elsewhere that were considered confidential.  

At other times there have been no constraints except those of what I suppose might be called the constraints of amistad, of friendship.  Among the mercies received have been the friendships that work across various boundaries, and I have worked at keeping those friendships (sometimes less successfully than others.)

So here I am seven years and seven months since starting Preludium, muttering on.  When I started doing this there were few bloggers from what might be called the progressive crowd. The biggies were of course Louie Crew with his site which was not a blog but a whole website of wonderful information and essays, and Fr. Jake, who on occasion shook the world, and Thinking Anglicans. Now with such wonderful writers as found on Episcopal Cafe, folk like Susan Russell, Elizabeth Kaeton, Mad Priest, the Pluralist who speaks, Counterlight, Eruptions of the Volcano, In a Godward Direction, and some good watchdogs on Anglican matters, and wonderful more spiritual offerings, there is less need for the mutterings at Preludium.

But then I think of mercy, mercies, thanksgiving, thanks - taking.  We all could use a little mercy now. So Preludium continues because I could use a little mercy now, particularly the mercy that comes from attending to the strange workings of the Church I serve and the people I love who are in it, or have left it, or have run away in disgust from it all.  It is time for traveling mercies as we move on to whatever God has next in mind for us. 

In all of it, we need, as Mary Gautier sings, a little mercy now.  Here she is singing. Mercy, it is wonderful.


  1. Welcome to Oakland! I'm in nearby Vallejo, having grown up in Alameda. I hope you have a wonderful visit.

  2. 2,000 blog posts since 2005? I'll have to check and see why my stats say. I've only been blogging since June of 2006 - just before GC - and counting since July of 2006. I didn't know, then, that blogs were open to everyone. I thought only Louie Crew's web pages were "open to the public". Imagine my surprise when I realized people all over The Anglican Communion were reading stuff I was writing for members of my congregation. So, over a million readers later, we sally forth, assured that, no matter what we write, God is forgiving and merciful.

    I'm so glad you write a blog. I'm so grateful for your blog.

    Merci, mon cher.

  3. I too, am grateful for you and your blog. You are among the mercies for me.

  4. Blog2K! Congrats & Mazel Tov!

  5. Over at Friends of Jake we are at 1177 posts and around 202,000 visits since July of 2008.

    how about this blogging thing?

    Oakland is close to "home" for me (Berkeley native).

  6. What better time to say "Thank you, Mark" could I find? Preludium has been a source of news, discussion and insight since I stumbled on it 5 years ago, and I am grateful to you for your charity, clarity and the sheer verve you bring to it, and to the Church.

    Keep on keeping on!

    John Wirenius ("Anglocat")

  7. You're the daddy, Mark! Mathematically speaking - the "blogging constant." You have inspired and supported the rest of us through thick and thin. I remain your loyal fan.

    What I really appreciate about "Preludium" is that it allows the rest of us to be silly whenever we want to. When I am accused of flippancy I always tell my accusers to go visit your blog if they want serious commentary delivered with real Christian love and insight. I could never achieve the heights of erudition and scholarly discourse that you produce on a daily (well, 1.4 daily) basis. So I don't even try. Without "Preludium" there would be a huge hole in the Neighbourhood that Idon't think any of the rest of us could fill. Of course, my jokes are better than yours so it all balances itself out.

    Hi to TELP and all the other stubborn old-timers.

  8. Congratulations, Fr. Mark. "Preludium" was the first blog I was directed to by my mentor as I came back to the church, leary of the institution and fuming over the nastiness toward +Gene Robinson. You provided reasoned perspective and insight. Your example led me to start blogging about my own observations as I embarked on this wacky and wonderful journey with God. And then I found Mad Priest's "Of Course I Could Be Wrong" which, of course, confirmed the wackiness with all the rapier wit that makes blogs worth reading. From the two of you... I found Wounded Bird, An Inch At A Time, and Telling Secrets. Good reading. Good perspectives. Good job, Fr. Mark!

  9. I think this is the third time I've responded to something you wrote--and I'm not sure but what the other two were e-mails.

    I can't claim to have read all 2000 posts, but I think I've read everything for the last three years or so. I've enjoyed it, and I've even learned a bit. You've given me cause to think on more than one occasion.

    So for all of that, it's worth coming out from behind the rocks to say "Thank You". I hope you enjoy the next 2000 as much as we will!


  10. Congratulations! Two Thousand posts are a lot. I have been blogging longer but haven’t even posted half the essays you have. Keep on bloggin’...

  11. esteemed gang...thanks. Mad Priest, you still reign in humor and depth, so thanks for your kind words. As for the rest of you lot, you make me tear up. (sigh). Now onward. God knows there's plenty to blog about...

    perhaps there is no new candidate for Archbishop of Canterbury because there are no worthwhile candidates out there. Or worse, there is no one who is worth the job who doesn't want it too much.

    Well... off you go then.

  12. I hope your fans don't fall into the trap, common to fans of other luminaries, of appreciating your clarity, charity and informed discourse so much that they're less able to appreciate light humor, silliness,etc. or other movement away from that to which they are accustomed. I guess what I really hope is that you don't feel any constraints from your friendly readers. Just keep on keepin'on!


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.