September 13, 2011

Three Cups of Coffee

This past July, Tim Schenk, Episcopal priest and blogger at Clergy Family Confidential, tweeted “Forget the tea. I should write a best-selling book called ‘Three Cups of Coffee.’ Subtitle: A Day in the Life of Fr. Tim."

As might be expected, I laughed and thought "That's a great idea!" And I agreed with one person's wry response of "Well at least it would be true." 

Oddly enough, however, I'm still thinking about the title of Tim's proposed book. In fact, after mulling this over for a while, I to decided to call Tim last week about a slightly different take on Three Cups of Coffee. (He seemed both thrilled and somewhat surprised that I took his tweet so seriously.) 

In our call, I suggested that Three Cups of Coffee should instead be about Episcopal congregations taking on global concerns, particularly as they appear at the local level. Stories, for instance, of parishes in Louisville, KY and Minneapolis, MN helping to resettle refugees, or that of the Diocese of Spokane, WA making the connection between local and international hunger. A book, in other words, that would be distinct from its more famous predecessor in that these stories would be 1) true and 2) about communities rather than lone heroes, where local congregations discover a passion for global concerns via the more mundane realities of discernment, committee meetings, vestry votes and yes, cup after cup of coffee.

Whether or not Three Cups of Coffee will be hitting the bookshelves any time soon, the idea remains the same. Whatever their size, Episcopal congregations can make a major difference in their local communities around global concerns. Indeed, I believe they can change the world.