It is wonderful to celebrate in this season of thanks because here at the blog, we have so much to be thankful for! When we started the blog two years ago,we really had no idea what shape it would take or if people would find it useful. My initial hope was that we would be able to find enough material to post something about three times a week.
The reality has been much different. Though we limit ourselves to stories and essays concerning topics that are both Catholic and LGBT, we have found that there is something every day to post. The intersection of Catholicism with LGBT topics is certainly a hot news beat! we’re happy, proud, and grateful to say that since November 28, 2011, we have posted something to this blog every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes we have posted twice or even three times a day. The news just keeps coming!
Since this blog “experiment” began two years ago, we’ve expanded in many ways. First, we’ve developed several occasional series:
1) Campus Chronicles: to report on items concerning college and university campuses, where so much good is happening on LGBT issues.
2) News Notes: brief synopses of stories that are not “meaty” enough for their own individual post.
3) Quote to Note: pithy and insightful quotations from news stories and essays that we think will spark your thinking, tickle your funny bone, or renew your hope.
4) All Are Welcome: Posts about how Catholic parishes and faith communities can increase their welcome to LGBT people.
5) Spiritual and Scriptural Reflections: Personal, reflective essays that examine the connection between the experiences of the LGBT community in light of our faith. Coming on the four Sundays of Advent will be a Scriptural reflection series by New Ways Ministry’s Co-Founder Sister Jeannine Gramick and Associate Director Matthew Myers.
And, of course, an important part of this blog is the contributions made by our readers in the “Comments” sections of the various posts. We’ve been inspired and enlightened by the comments that have been submitted, and we marvel at the quality of thought and heart that our readers exhibit. For this, we are especially thankful!
Some folks have asked for guidelines or “etiquette” for posts. We only have a few:
- Please keep your comments relevant to the content of the post.
- Please refrain from name-calling or other personal attacks. Challenge the person’s ideas and arguments instead of insulting the person.
- Please use only civil language; no profanities.
- We will not approve any comments that we deem to be pastorally or personally harmful to our readers.
Our goal is to approve as many comments as possible, as quickly as possible. Occasionally we will edit comments to remove any of the objectionable material mentioned above, if we feel that there is enough other “post-worthy” material in the comment submitted. A comment that we need to edit may take a little bit longer to post to the blog.
What we have discovered is that the blog, which was intended to be primarily a news source, has really become an online community where people have been sharing thoughts, observations, spiritual insights, personal struggles and victories, and, most of all, renewing one another’s hopes for a church and a world where LGBT people are treated equally and justly. We have been blessed by this discussion, and we hope that you will continue to participate in this community by posting your ideas and reflections.
Since Day One, our readership has continued to expand! We marvel how almost every day we get new followers to our blog, or to our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media outlets which promote the blog’s posts. We’re happy, grateful, and proud to say that our blog followers include many leaders in the worlds of Catholicism, LGBT activism and organizing, journalism, and academia. Indeed our posts have been quoted and re-blogged on major websites and news outlets around the globe! We continue to marvel at the many stories we’ve learned about from our readers of the many wonderful things you are all doing in your parishes, schools, and home communities. We appreciate the many “tips” and “leads” you have provided us that have developed into posts on the blog.
We will continue the birthday celebration of the blog on Monday and Tuesday with two additional posts related to this milestone. Our birthday wish is that many of you derive as much hope and inspiration from the material presented here as we receive from your involvement and support! We look forward to sharing the future together with all of you!
–Francis DeBernardo and Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry