So my rector -- Ed Bacon -- was back on Oprah this morning. It was a reprise of an interview he'd done earlier on her radio network ... only this time they ran it as part of the "Super Soul Sunday" series along with a whole cool live-streaming/tweeting thing.
It made for a very multi-platform morning at my house.
Yes, I'm on vacation. But -- as I commented to a Facebook friend who commented on my comment about the Oprah airing -- I'm on vacation, not in isolation. And so of course I'm still interested in what happens when Ed's on Oprah talking about turning the human race into the human family ... especially when I can watch from my couch in my jeans on my laptop with the Dodgers whooping the Braves on the television. (Go, Blue!)
If you want to catch the Oprah segment, you can still watch it here. And, of course, I commend it to you. You'll hear about turning the human race into the human family, about the power of forgiveness, and about what grits and grace have in common. Basically, you'll hear what we hear every Sunday at All Saints Church ... and how delighted was I that Oprah -- who I kind of think of as "the gift that keeps on giving" -- gave us ... gave Ed ... gave the message of God's love, justice and compassion ... a bigger platform this morning.
Oh, I know. The Oprah Winfrey Network isn't getting the ratings the old Oprah Show days used to pull in and who knows what difference Ed holding forth on television makes, anyway -- there's no slot in the parochial report for "how many viewers did you reach with the Good News of God's inclusive love" on television this week. How do you quantify the impact? Will it help your pledge base?
And this whole twitter thing ... so you "follow" him on twitter," right? Then where does he "go"? Yes ... it's a brave new multi-platform world.
Now, Lord knows I don't have all the answers. I don't even pretend to. I'm a Baby Boomer, "digital immigrant," still-figuring-it-out-as-I-go-along bystander to a whole new world of communication and networking opportunities, possibilities and challenges.
But here's what I do know:
- I know that Oprah may not have the "reach" she did in her talk show heyday ... but this morning RevEdBacon had 545 followers on twitter and now he has 7967. Or he did the last time I checked. And those are folks we can build relationship with as we continue to send out Good News from All Saints in Pasadena.
- I know that our call to "proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ Jesus" needs as many platforms as we can find to get it out in a world in desperate need of it -- Oprah, twitter, or whatever. And our charge to bear witness to God's love, justice and compassion deserves our best efforts to maximize every single one of them.
- And I know that almost every single Monday when we go through the newcomer cards that folks filled out on Sunday, someone responds to the question, "what brought you to All Saints today?" with "Saw Ed Bacon on Oprah" or "Read about you in the Huffington Post" or "invited by a Facebook friend" or ... well, you get my point.
And then there's the "traditional values" candidate for Senate in Missouri -- Todd Akin -- who opined this morning that there is no such thing as pregnancy from "legitimate rape" since (wait for it ...) "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Talk about taking "blame the victim" to a whole new level -- Seriously!
Of course Akin is backing off that statement now ... as well he should. But if ever there was a news day that illustrated how badly the we need alternative voices speaking about the values of love, justice and compassion -- what Ed calls the "habits of love" in his upcoming book -- then it was today.
So I'm having a GREAT vacation. Thanks for asking. Yesterday it was a trip to the Farmer's Market -- some great live Bluegrass music followed by great Italian food with good friends. Today it was Dodger baseball and Ed on Oprah. And who knows what tomorrow will bring? I'll keep you posted.