The Episcopal Church is working its way through a high-profile controversy over its efforts to include gay and lesbian Christians more fully in the life of the church. Misinformation abounded, and the controversy was fueled by bloggers who portrayed the church in the worst possible light. Correcting erroneous media reports and responding to critics is easy enough, and necessary, but it does nothing to broaden the public’s knowledge of the church, its rich spiritual tradition and its vibrant ministries.
Episcopal Café, created by Canticle’s Jim Naughton, is a collection of five high quality blogs that share a visually appealing homepage. A news blog, maintained by a team of seven volunteers, keeps people up to date on developments in the church, and at those spots where religion and culture or politics intersect. An art blog, maintained by Episcopal Church in the Visual Arts give the Café a distinctive look. A blog of essays, with more than 25 regular contributors, introduces readers to some of the liveliest and wittiest minds at work in the church. The Café also features weekly video and daily spiritual meditations, which have been collected in the book Speaking to the Soul. The site receives some 5,500 visits per day and has a Facebook group with more than 2,000 members. Religion reporters in the United States and England visit the Café and frequently seek the opinion of its editor, bloggers and essayists.