Thursday, April 02, 2009

Happy Anniversary! We are three today!

Happy Anniversary! Today is our third anniversary here at the Cafe at, having gone online on April 2, 2006. Our very first guest was none other than the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali.

In his honor we are naming a special Sweet Lassi after him called, of course, The Rochester. A Sweet Lassi is a delicious blending of yogurt with water, water, salt, pepper, ice, spices and spices until frothy and in the case of the cafe's Rochester, we'll include a dab of Devonshire cream.

Here is how you can make one of your own at home:

Of course, we can't be celebrating long without something from ole what's his name. This is a performance from last Saturday night in Sweden, the classic Highway 61 Revised. He's just too cool - and he's really having fun. I know it's hard to understand the words, but his performance is so entertaining just had to put it up. You can catch the lyrics here. Yeah, "... better run."

Where else can one get a recipe for a Pakistani/Indian shake, listen to Bob Dylan on the road in Sweeden, and pay tribute to a Church of England bishop who sits in the House of Lords? Welcome to the Cafe!

Of course, what has made these past three years so much fun and interesting is all of you! You all make this place come alive and I'm just so grateful that you all drop in, whatever side of the aisle you find yourself, and pull up a chair to swap howdies, toss a few pancakes, toast a few drinks, and then carry-on. It continues to amaze me that we really can enjoy those who's names we know and those who are anons and passing through. It says a lot that it's very rare that Hagrid has to hoist himself up from his table and toss someone out the door lest the cream pies start flying through the air. Thank you, one and all!

I remember last summer standing at the gates on the final Sunday afternoon of Lambeth in Canterbury, England. At the 11th Hour, when most of the media had all ready packed up and retreated back to London or to the corner pub, Lambeth Palace had relented and were going to allow the media to come in through the gates and film the bishops arriving for their last session in the Big Top.

I arrived at the gates at the appointed hour, a small group of the media remnant, with my flip video camera in hand and stood with the official from the Archbishop of Canterbury's staff as we waited for the BBC to complete filming a press conference held by The Episcopal Church that just happened to be scheduled at the exact same time. I felt a bit sheepish, me with my little flip video camera waiting for the BBC with all their heavy duty equipment - I could see them filming from across the green and there I stood with this little flip thingy. I turned to the press official and said, "all I have is this," and showed him my Flip Video Camera, feeling a bit embarrassed. He looked down at the camera and I suddenly felt like one the hoards of American tourists that line up outside Buckingham Palace. So I added, "but the good news is, the videos all end up on YouTube!"

Well, that got his attention. His eyes grew wide as we stood by the still closed gate and said, "That's you?"

I nodded. I couldn't quite describe the look on his face. But when the BBC showed up, I went with them. You all here at the Cafe have a lot to do with that. I did not go alone.

This is a new world we're in, it sort of snuck up on us. I had no idea what I was getting myself into three years ago when I launched I knew that I was going to General Convention that summer and I wanted to perhaps try a new way to get my reporting out to the readers of what is now an old-fashioned e-mail list. A blog seemed to be a good way, but I wasn't sure and intended to do both at Columbus, write the e-mails and do the blog. But once I got to Columbus it was like a scene out of Field of Dreams. It seems that others had the same idea and Columbus became our own Field of Dreams.

But it would mean very little but for all of you who drop by, perhaps write a post, or just order a chai and carry on. Some of you have your own usual table or spot at the bar - you know who you are - and we cherish you! Sometimes we're grumpy and sometimes we're silly and sometimes we're somewhere in between. But it's been a great way to meet up with people from all over the world who care about the church, who care about the mission of the church, as well as the other quirky things that pass through here - like Dylan in Sweden.

And yes, the chai, the butterbeer, the Old Ogden's Fire Whiskey, the pancakes, the cream pies, and now The Rochester are all on the house. Enjoy! And God bless you all!


Sibyl said...

Happy Happy Birthday Baby Blue!
Wishing you many more.

And thank you for all the joy and your talent for writing, your taste in music and serious insight into three years of heart-wrenching Anglican Affairs.

YOu are too cool as well!

Sean said...

Congratulations, and I wish you many, many more.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday on your Cafe and may your cup never run empty.

atlantic said...

Your cafe is my favorite! I am also a Dylan and U2 fan, so that really draws me in. I love the worship songs you choose. Bless you on your blogger birthday.
Say hi to Derek from me! He and I have been in contact regarding The Marriage Course as I work with Alpha Canada.
Elaine, St. John's, NL

BabyBlue said...

Will do, Elaine!


Jill C. said...

The slide show from GC06 is a poignant reminder of all the water that has gone under the bridge since then. Seeing the picture of Roseberry+ at the podium, Kennedy+ on the floor with his laptop . . . those fine priests and their parishes are gone-gone from TEC, as are many others. That "Field of Dreams" is a playing field that has shrunk considerably in size and scope. There will be very few remaining who will go to bat for "team orthodox" this summer, I fear.

In 2003 and 2006 I observed from the parish office, receiving communication from those on the front. I watch from a greater distance now that we've departed the Episcopal Church. It's bittersweet.

(Got anything bittersweet on tap, BB?)

Ed McNeill said...

Happy Birthday! I look forward to your "terrible threes" Isn't this year you learn to say NO?

Congratulations from a fan.