32% of Influential Churches in U.S. Using Facebook

Very interesting stuff here. I’m actually working on something along these lines for the Chattanooga area. Hat tip to Andrew Yeager-Buckley for tweeting this.

Thirty-two Percent of Influential Churches in the U.S. are on Facebook.

(April 8, 2009) According to a recent survey conducted by Sojo, Inc. (Sojo), 32% of the country’s most influential churches surveyed are using Facebook. Companies and brands are not the only ones noticing the creativity and interaction benefits that the mainstream social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace offer. Many organizations, especially religious affiliations like churches, have begun to experiment with Web 2.0 technologies.

Read more here and here.

No Child Left Inside

Here is something that is near and dear to my heart. I haven’t done a whole lot of outside stuff with the Young Extroverted One (and more recently the Mullethead) since we’ve moved away from the Black Mountain/Montreat, North Carolina area. However, Chattanooga may lend itself to more outdoor fun for me to experience with my kids this summer.

So, check out the link. Find out what you can do with your kids (or neighbors’ kids | with permission of course) outside! Cool video after the jump!

No Child Left Inside: Home Page.

Please join us in this national effort to highlight the importance of environmental education.  As part of the NCLI Days campaign we are urging environmental, education, conservation, and all other interested organizations to work with schools in your community to showcase engaging, environmental education activities.  Use the “No Child Left Inside Days Action Packet” to work with teachers to develop a lesson plan, generate press coverage, and educate Members of Congress about the benefits of outdoor environmental education in your area.

Does Scholastic Deserve a Failing Grade?

As a parent with a kid in school and having recently purchase books from Scholastic I found this article interesting. Is this a relationship we need to look at closer?


Has the direct-to-classroom publisher and bookseller lost its way, pushing cheap toys and video games straight into your kids’ backpacks, all in the name of promoting reading and kicking a few bucks back to our ailing schools?Does Scholastic Deserve a Failing Grade?, Mar 2009

You should read the whole article.

One church’s perspective on the “English Only” charter amendment

TOMORROW, January 22, is voting day on the English Only charter amendment.

Hearing the biblical call to welcome the stranger, the Session invites the congregation to prayerfully consider the following:

On December 18 the Session voted to urge members of Trinity to vote against the “English only” charter amendment in the January referendum. The Session gave the following reasons for its action: The “English only” requirement does not acknowledge the linguistic diversity that has always characterized the U.S. (the result of many factors, including voluntary migration, conquest, employment practices, and compassion toward refugees) and continues today. Furthermore it does not manifest the hospitality toward immigrants and refugees that we have every reason to expect in our public and private life. And it is out of keeping with the future character of our nation, region, and city, which will remain both red and blue, black and white, yellow and red and brown. The Presbyterian General Assembly in 1990 acknowledged “the special claim that immigrants make on Christian conscience and the contributions they make to U.S. society,” and reaffirmed the following principles:

-providing for the human needs of refugees and immigrants;

-non-discrimination in aid and in application of laws and policies;

-upholding constitutional and civil rights;

-protecting lives;

-special consideration for women and children, individuals with special needs, and unification of families;

-provision of adequate resources to communities in order to reduce tensions;

-vigorously combatting expressions of racism in policies and their implementation.

From Trinity Presbyterian Church PC(USA), Nashville, TN

A New Year…Some New Stuff

Holy cow! I believe my wordpress.com page has changed three or four time since I last posted something of unimportance. I am a huge slacker in the blog world. My Twitter account is seeing all the action these days. Maybe I should look back on my ‘tweets’ and consolidate them into some sort of narrative longer than 140 characters.

Here’s the update: The Elder Extroverted Holy One is now the Reverend Elder Extroverted Holy One. Damn, her alias is getting longer. Maybe I’ll just call her “The Chosen”, or “The Truly Better Half.” How about “The Reverend Extroverted One?” That works for now…Well, The REO (awesome! “I can’t fight this feeling anymoooooorrrrrrrre”) was called to a church in Chattanooga and has since been ordained in the Presbyterian Church(USA) and is now serving that church. It’s a pretty cool small thang but with some great potential and I do believe that The REO is the youngest person there. tee hee

The Young Extroverted One is now firmly planted in a new school which is near our new house. It was a totally different experience dropping her off for her first day than her first day at the old school in east Nashville. But that’s for another post I suppose.

The Mullethead is now one year old and is doing great. Cruising around and standing on her own. We’re waiting for her to take some steps any day now. Look out world! When she can walk by herself I’m getting her a job! She needs to start earning her keep around here.

Speaking of earning one’s keep, I am no longer earning mine. I am back to being a full-time stay-at-home dad. My frequent tweets have changed dramatically from ‘doom and gloom’ to ‘rainbows and unicorns’. Sort of . . . those of you who follow me either on Facebook or Twitter would understand.

Selling our house in Nashville has been another issue entirely. The economy bit the big one right around the time we were getting our house on the market. And there it sits. All alone and empty. Waiting for someone to move in. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Something-d-o-o economics…anyone?

We are in a house that we really like in Ooltewah, TN but it’s only under a lease/purchase agreement. Basically, we’re renting it until someone buys our house and than we can buy this house. But since we’re renting the owners didn’t want us to have our pets here. So, Bosco, Maya and Aine (pronounced “anya” yeah, we’re weird) are living the good life at grandma Lucy’s house until we can buy this house. I don’t care much about the cats but I miss my dog. Sigh . . .

So, that’s us in a nutshell. Boring I know but that’s all I got for now. I would like to write more regularly on things that interest me in the future and hopefully I will. Until then? Just read this over and over again.

A New Way of Looking at Today’s Presidential Campaign


I just received this in my email inbox from a dear friend of mine in New York City. It’s from his friend from seminary. I liked his perspective so I thought that I’d share widely this reflection on today’s politics. Let me know what you think…

Weekly Reflection by Rev. Durrell Watkins

I speak only for myself today. I am not representing my family, my neighborhood, my parish, or my denomination. Today I write to you not as the pastor of the Sunshine Cathedral, but as a member of the Temple of Democracy. The spirit that inspires me today is the spirit of justice and the sacrament that I hold up is the grace-filled act of making a choice and voting one’s convictions. The creed that fills my heart today comes not from ancient councils, but from the American motto, “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, One).


With that uncharacteristically patriotic introduction, let me now add that I hope that every American plans to vote in November’s presidential election. And I hope that all people will consider the important issues and vote for the common good, for “liberty and justice for ALL.”


We shouldn’t vote for the most dynamic individual (Obama might come out ahead if that were the test).

We shouldn’t vote for the person who has spent the most time in politics (that would favor McCain).

We shouldn’t vote for the person with the most impressive education (Obama would win that contest).

We shouldn’t vote for the person who has survived the ravages of war (McCain would be the winner in that case).

We shouldn’t vote for the person who is the best orator (Obama would be the clear winner there).

We shouldn’t vote for someone just for being a person of faith (Obama, Biden, and Palin each share that claim…I’m less familiar with McCain’s spirituality).

We shouldn’t vote for someone just for facing the challenges of racism (as Obama has),

nor should we vote for someone just for facing the challenges of sexism (as Palin has).

We shouldn’t vote for someone just for achieving personal success (both tickets feature very successful candidates).

We shouldn’t vote for someone for having the most attractive spouse (that would result in a tie).

We shouldn’t vote for someone for having “family values” (they all love their families).


All candidates this year have impressive credentials and have overcome some amazing odds. As individuals, we might admire any or all of them. What we are left to vote for is vision, commitment, and a plan of action to insure equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal protection under the law. So…


We SHOULD vote for the person who we believe will lead this country in the ways of peace and prosperity.

We SHOULD vote for the person who will promote freedom OF and FROM religion, and the separation of religion and state.

We SHOULD vote for the person who stands for equality for ALL citizens.

We SHOULD vote for the person who will care for our environment.

We SHOULD vote for the person who will try to provide quality care to children, elderly, and all who need medical care.

We SHOULD vote for the person who will try to make education through college accessible to the greatest number of people.

We SHOULD vote for the person will protect us from enemies while also protecting our civil liberties.

We SHOULD vote for the person who we believe best understands how to stimulate the economy without overlooking the neediest among us.

And we SHOULD always work to end homophobia in both parties and among all candidates.


In the past, both parties have offered good ideas and good leaders who have been a blessing to this country. So, we aren’t called to party loyalty or to the personality that we feel most drawn to; we are challenged in this election with weighing the ideas, the promises, and the plans of each candidate and making an informed and responsible choice for the good of our nation and our world.


Whoever you support, encourage them to keep the discourse respectful in these final campaign months. Let’s insist that these candidates discuss ideas and issues and not personally attack each other. We don’t want the person who can deliver the nastiest zinger; we want the person who will help our country be as good as it can be for as many people as possible.


Finally, if you believe in prayer, please pray for the candidates this year. Three Senators and a Governor are trying to balance their own health, the well-being of their families, the responsibilities of the current offices they hold, and the demands of the campaign trail. And whoever wins will inherit a sluggish economy and a war, and hopefully, whoever wins will try to bring unity and civility to a nation that is deeply divided on many issues. These candidates need our prayerful support as they run, and the winner will need extra wisdom and energy after winning. So, hold these candidates in prayer.


I can’t tell you who to vote for, but I am asking that you consider the issues very carefully and on Election Day, prayerfully cast your vote. If everyone does that, we’re all bound to win.

Catching Up

Twitter is really eating into my intermittent blogging ideas. I suppose it’s that I figure it’s already ‘out there’ I don’t have to put anything ‘out here.’ So, I’m going to bullet some stuff to catch my trusty reader(s) up on what has been going on lately.

  • I’m not sure I’ve described my office here but it is a combination equipment store room/office. Oddly shaped with some of the walls being exterior walls. It has one vent that is approximately 6″ in diameter and I believe it is connected to the vent in the rest rooms. So, I keep it closed. In the summer it gets rain forest hot and the winter it gets arctic cold. I have done without the suit and tie at work and have been wearing a polo shirt. I am getting used to it.
  • My DirecTV was acting erratically last week and there was fear that we’d miss the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D movie on the Disney Channel on Saturday. When I called DirecTV the earliest time I could have gotten a service call was today. Not good. But the digital satellite gods smiled upon us and blessed us with uninterrupted ‘tween pop star goodness. And that was 2 hours that I can’t get back.
  • The Introvert/Extrovert family had a wonderful time being back in Montreat/Black Mountain, NC. Sigh, it was very nice catching up with that community. I miss it so.
  • The Elder Extroverted Holy One has an interview with a church that is located in the eastern part of Tennessee (vague enough?). I’m excited for her and the potential of this church.
  • The Young Extroverted One starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks!?!?!? Holy crap! We are so not ready for that and at the same time we are so ready for that.
  • Contemplating stuff to do to the house to make it look better is overwhelming. My head is going to explode.
  • I missed the Music City Brewer’s Festival this year due to me paying attention to publicity for it. Damn.
  • Caught a new show on the Planet Green network called “Off the Grid.” Chronicling the efforts of my man crush Les Stroud and his family to live off the grid in the Canadian wilderness. Nice.

Alright, carry on with your daily activities I am done.

Welcome to My Blogroll Family!

If you like beer and if you follow me on Twitter, Brightkite, Plurk, Facebook or whatever other social networking site I have joined but forgot, you would know that I, also, like beer then it would behoove you to check out this new addition to my blogroll: the Beer School Blog.

Beer School Blog is two guys drinking beer and telling us what they thought. That’s it. There’s no pretension that one would find from a snooty wine taster. They use words that we all know to describe what they’re drinking. Simple enough. Me likey. Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet up with them in the near future to partake of some frosty beverages at a neighborhood bar in the Nashville area.

You can’t tell but I am raising a pint to them!