March 25, 2017

March 8, 2014


Stand Firm is 10 Years Old Today

On Monday, March 8, 2004, I made the very first entry in the Stand Firm system.

When one looks back at “where it all started” for something like this, it’s more difficult than it appears at first.

Did it start when my friend in church asked me to stand for vestry? I chuckled when she first suggested it. “I’m not exactly vestry material,” I said. “Sometimes God puts people in the most unexpected situations,” she said. “Just give it some thought.” I did, and put my name in the hat. I sort of expected to win. lost. The next year another friend asked me to run, and I did. I sort of expected to lose. I won.

Or did it start when, months later at a monthly vestry meeting, our rector asked for volunteers to serve as delegates to the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi’s annual council meeting, and, looking around the room at people who were none-too-excited about the prospect, raised my hand out of a sense of duty?

Perhaps it started on the floor of that convention, when I repeatedly rose to speak in defense of a number of resolutions denouncing the developments around Bishop Gene Robinson’s consecration, and seeking to dstance the diocese from the national church. I kept noticing the same faces - all priests - at the other microphones rising to defend the same position I was taking. Afterward, we introduced ourselves and exchanged phone numbers, promising to stay in touch. They invited me to their monthly meeting. I accepted. Then they described themselves as a groups of priests who got together once a month for prayer and “to commiserate.” I immediatley started thinking of ways to get out of it.

It may have started when I showed up anyway, the next month in a small room at St. Peter’s-by-the-Lake in Brandon, Mississippi. There was George Woodliff, Sandra DePriest, Chris Colby and a few others. They thanked me for my support on the convention floor. They asked me why I felt called to stand up against the innovations in the church. After all these years I don’t quite remember, and truth be told they’re probably not that relevant anymore anyway.

I told them right off the bat that they could have asked a less combative, less acerbic person to be the first layperson they invited into their midst. They smiled and said that maybe they needed someone more assertive than they themselves had been. I said I had little knowledge of the deeper and more intricate theological issues surrounding the present crisis, but I did have a knack for getting people’s messages across in online forums. I suggested that I set up a small web site - just for Mississippi - where they could publish the occasional essay explaining their position. My intent was to be solely a technical assistant, and the goal was solely to offer them a place online where they could publish their views.

I proposed a schedule: With eight priests on board, if each one delivered one piece every two months, we would be able to publish a piece a week. The first several pieces were delivered more or less on time.

Ruth Urban offered up this examination of the difference between ordaining women and ordaining homosexuals.

Anne Heinemann wrote this essay on the value of upholding scripture

Chris Colby offer his thoughts on Good Friday.

As this pattern began to emerge, I have to admit that I started doubting our ability to move the needle. It wasn’t long before I knew that, in fact no, this kind of content wasn’t going to move the needle at all. It wasn’t until George Woodliff, Stand Firm’s president, published his essay “Gnosticism and the Episcopal Church”  that I began to think we might be able to play in the lower echelons of the Anglican blogosphere.

At the time, there were only a few “big” Anglican blogs. There was, of course, Kendall Harmon’s TitusOneNine. There was David Fischler’s Ecumenical Insanity - a blog I visited every single day, and when I found no fresh content there, suffered from no small measure of distress. Christopher Johnson was doing Midwest Conservative Journal, which I also visited every day, and there were several CaNN blogs in operation. I’d have to ask Brad Drell, but I believe his “Descants” was up by that time.

There were a smattering of smaller one whose names and authors I’ve mostly forgotten, but it was my hope that we might one day enter the same orbit as theirs, and once in a while get noticed by the big boys.

Here you can see the very first post I ever made - a typical “Lorem ipsum” post to test the system’s operation.

In the next post you can me testing the comment system.

In the next post you can see the very first thing that ever saw the light of day under the Stand Firm banner: “Episcopal protest hits collection plate,” with its publication date of March 8, 2004.

By 2005 we had indeed joined the ranks of smaller Anglican blogs, and got regular mentions from the Big Guys. In late August of that year, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I found myself as the channel through which the American Anglican Council sent tens of thousands of dollars of relief money to coast residents. I made many trips to the coast on their behalf and helped countless families through the generosity of blog readers and AAC members.

I had also started to “franchise” the blog, setting up state “chapters” like Louisiana, West Virginia, and Alabama. The Alabama group was particularly energetic, but eventually all the state chapters proved unable to maintain the posting level that was then being required of Anglican blogs if they wanted to build and maintain an audience of any size.

In early 2006, I shut down the state sites, audaciously changed the slogan to “Traditional Anglicanism in America,” and recruited two new writers. Andy Figueroa was first aboard, and in my search for a second I found Matt Kennedy. I noticed that when I read comment threads at TitusOneNine, I would begin reading a comment and find myself smiling and agreeing with whoever it was writing it. Every single time, it was Matt. I sent him an email asking him if he’d like to join me, and he’s been a fixture at Stand Firm ever since.

By the late spring of 2006, I was exhausted by the blog and all the other church-related battles I had been fighting, many of which were putting tremendous strain on my family and our life together. I announced to my wife that I was inclined to go to General Convention in Columbus, but then to come back and quietly shut down the blog, the reasoning being that GC2006 would spell the end of the fight, and provide a convenient opportunity to fade away quietly.

Most readers know what happened: Matt arrived in Columbus a few days ahead of me, and live-blogged a committee meeting (yawn) the response to which was electric. By the time I arrived in Columbus, Stand Firm was getting huge traffic, so much so that we teetered on the edge of crashing the whole time we were there, and in fact went down cold for several hours one day due to the massive load on our server.

It was at Columbus when Sarah Hey officially joined the staff, and immediately afterward Jackie Bruchi, who had run the Louisiana site, joined the main site. David Ould would come aboard before the end of the year.

Before we left Columbus, it was clear that there would be no shutting down the site. We emerged from GC2006 as not only the most highly-trafficked of the orthodox Anglican sites, but the most highly-trafficked Anglican site on earth, easily outdrawing T19, VirtueOnline, and even the Episcopal Church’s national site. Our traffic dwarfed that of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion’s other official sites. We spent the next several years in the pole position, all the way up to and beyond GC2009 in Anaheim.

As both longtime readers and new readers no doubt know, these days I don’t do much writing for the site. In true Tom Sawyer fence-whitewashing style, I added Tim Fountain, Allan Haley, and David Fischler to my staff of minions, and they do a fine job with all the work required to keep the site humming, while I sit in the shade chewing a blade of grass and complimenting them on their fine efforts.

There have been so many great episodes in Stand Firm’s history - too many to catalogue here. We had over 80,000 visitors in a single day during the Tanzania meeting. And who can forget Oakwyse the Druid priest, or Kevin Thew Forrester the Buddhist bishop-to-be? What would we have done without the shenanigans of Davis Mac-Iyalla and his western stooges? Who can imagine a life without the joys of being a thorn in the side of Episcopal revisionists for the last decade?

So happy 10th to Stand Firm, and a big thank you to everyone who’s kept us going over the years, from donations to help in researching stories, to your prayers and simple encouraging words. We’d love to hear your memories of how you found out about us, why you’ve stuck around, and what you’ve gotten out of the site.


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73 comments

Great historical overview of the 10 years, Greg, so thanks!  My post (and link)  to FB:

“Happy 10th Birthday to the blog “Stand Firm in Faith!” It’s been a steadfast force in Anglicanism and a trustworthy source of information for anyone interested in the state of global “orthodoxy” (i.e the faithful resistance to progressive/liberal deconstruction of reformed faith.) ”

[1] Posted by cityonahill on 3-8-2014 at 11:24 AM · [top]

Greg,

Your efforts have encouraged many thousands of us “pew-sitters” that needed Stand Firm.  Three cheers for Greg and the “The Minions”!

[2] Posted by aggie on 3-8-2014 at 11:33 AM · [top]

Congratulations, Greg, on sticking with your concept and providing both the substantive and technical wherewithal to bring StandFirm to what it is today. I forget exactly when I first began reading StandFirm, but I registered as “Chancellor” on Feb. 12, 2007, and made so bold as to post my first comment the next day. From the outset, I used SF to follow the accumulating stories about Church litigation, beginning with Virginia.

After a little more than a year, I had become so involved in pointing out the uncanonical actions of the new Presiding Bishop that I was writing whole treatises on Episcopal canon law in the comments here. Greg elevated one of my comments to a post, and shortly after that (on SF’s fourth anniversary, as a matter of fact) I ventured to start the Curmudgeon blog and put up my own posts on the rapidly deteriorating Episcopal Church under its disastrous leader. And in due course, Greg and the original gang invited me to join them in going forward. I have never looked back.

So, thanks to StandFirm for providing the platform for so many traditional Anglicans, and for being the mainstay of the faith handed down from the saints. I treasure my association with so many fine people.

[3] Posted by A. S. Haley on 3-8-2014 at 11:51 AM · [top]

Congratulations to StandFirm!  You people are great, as is the blog.

Had this kind of forum (for lack of a better term) been around when the then PECUSA began its lurch to the left so many years ago, that lurch might have been stopped and many of us wouldn’t have headed for the exits.

[4] Posted by vulcanhammer on 3-8-2014 at 11:57 AM · [top]

Hey Greg, Happy 10th Anniversary, and thanks for all you and the SF crew have done over the years to stand for the truth of the Gospel.  I’m grateful for you, your hard work, faithfulness and courage.  Thanks too for all the tech support you’ve provided to so many of us other bloggers over the years.

Just to add a bit to your history of the early Anglican blogosphere:

Lent & Beyond also started 10 years ago.  Our launch date was Feb 15, 2004,  just before Lent that year. It was just me blogging at L&B then…  I would have liked to do some anniversary posts, but I’ve been so ridiculously busy, and it just didn’t seem a priority.

L&B would have died an early death had not God graciously brought along various co-bloggers over the years (including SF’s Fr. Tim Fountain for awhile!).  You mentioned the Rev. George Woodliff and how instrumental he was in Stand Firm’s beginning.  His wife Jill, of course, really leads the way at Lent & Beyond most of the time these days.  I’m so glad the Lord connected us!!  Jill and the diocese of Albany’s Torre Bissell are true intercessors who lead the blog.  I’m more of a “compiler” of good resources… !

For anyone interested, here’s L&B’s first post:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070714050941/http:/lent.classicalanglican.net/?p=5

(The first four entries were test posts for me to practice HTML coding.)  Unfortunately that web archive capture is from 2007, so it doesn’t show L&B as it looked at the time.

I know Brad Drell’s CANN blog “Drell’s Descant’s” was up and running by Nov 2004.  (See WebArchive entry of his second post here.).  Brad may have had an earlier blog at a different URL?  I forget…

WannaBe Anglican started in Feb 2004.  Fr. Binky’s Classical Anglican Net News was of course the biggie in 2003 - 2004, along with T19 and MCJ.

This link permits a look back at who was participating on our 2006 Lent Blog Carnival gives a reminder of who some of the other early Anglican bloggers were… Captain Yips, Fr. Al Kimel at Pontifications, Todd Granger, “Rather Not blog…”  So many have stopped blogging and/or left Anglicanism altogether.  It’s been a sad and pretty grueling 10 years.  But God’s grace is greater, and He can breathe life into the dry bones of orthodox Anglican witness in N. America.

May the Lord help us grow daily in love for Him and obedience to His commands.  May He find us good and faithful servants.

[5] Posted by Karen B. on 3-8-2014 at 12:01 PM · [top]

#2:  Do you really *DARE* call Sarah a “minion”?!?!?  LOL!  I think we’ll hear something about that comment shortly!!!  Smile.

[6] Posted by Karen B. on 3-8-2014 at 12:04 PM · [top]

Greg, I’m sure it was through SF that I got to know that Jill Woodliff had started a prayer blog, so you all very definitely helped facilitate our connection.  Thanks!

One other memory / highlight:  the “document the heresy thread.”  I know a lot of people at AAC and elsewhere put the information compiled in that thread to good use in helping spread the word about just how bad things had gotten in TEC.  Also, I always loved the “how did your bishop vote?” threads.  Even when GenCon failed to publish roll call votes, SF readers came through and produced the info.  Those types of posts showed the true power or networking and crowd-sourcing info even before FB and Twitter had become so ubiquitous.

[7] Posted by Karen B. on 3-8-2014 at 12:15 PM · [top]

I’ll probably get banned by you intolerant jerks, but I want to post (before you take it down like the haters you are) that I DEMAND to stop receiving updates from your disgusting site.  I’ve asked time and again that you unregister me and send me a certified letter verifying your action, and you’ve simply emailed me instructions on how to do it myself.

I don’t want to hear about “Stand Firm.”  Especially that Fountain guy.  He sucks.

Respectfully,

A tolerant and enlightened servant of the cosmic Christ.

[8] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-8-2014 at 01:29 PM · [top]

My congratulations to S.F. on their anniversary and second the post of #8.

[9] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-8-2014 at 01:35 PM · [top]

Joined on May 23, 2007 at 10:47 AM. How do I know? I cheated and clicked on the “Your Account” tab. Ten years of blogging is a long time, and the fact that SF keeps on chugging says a lot about the quality of the reporting as well as the incredibly brilliant, talented, and good looking visitors who leave those wonderful, memorable, and inspiring comments in the little box you provide.

[10] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-8-2014 at 02:34 PM · [top]

Credit also to the honorable lady, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

[11] Posted by J Eppinga on 3-8-2014 at 02:50 PM · [top]

About the time I found Stand Firm, I was beginning to think I was the last traditional Anglican left in the United States.  Commenting here has put me in touch with Anglicans half a mile down the road, and halfway around the world, from young laypeople to Archbishops. 

I think I found SF just before the convention in ‘06. So thank you for putting up with an old Anglo Catholic for 8 of your 10 years.

Favorite moment- reading that diocese number 55 had said no on KGTF.

Congratulations on 10 great years, and looking forward to the next 10.  Just think of some of the headlines to come-

TEC trying to expand S Carolina lawsuit to include GS Primates after oversight is established.

9 more years!

9 more years cut short when ABoC retires early, and CoE chooses as replacement an honorary Oxford DD, acclaimed by Abp. Welby as the very epitome of wisdom and charity.

The ASA of the diocese of Haiti becomes larger than the rest of TEC put together.

Bishop MacNeil becomes Primate of Australia (a David Ould 12 part mini-series).

Several Episcopal bishops missing after trying to cross Little Stone Bridge in Upper S Carolina.

Lambeth 2018- 13 churches send a total of 325 bishops- 230 of them from TEC.

The two most right wing bishops in TEC, Tom Breidenthal and Jeffrey Lee, retire in 2020.

TJ

[12] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-8-2014 at 02:53 PM · [top]

Wow. Stand Firm and my blog started about a month apart.  I did not know that.

Congrats! And kudos for your perseverance!

[13] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 3-8-2014 at 03:00 PM · [top]

I remember leading Nashotah House to become one of Stand Firm’s first paid advertisers—and a few wonderful years of designing the banner ads myself.  I am sorry that isn’t still happening under the current regime.

Thank you for all you have done for orthodox Anglicanism over these ten years.  God bless you, and keep standing firm!

Robert Munday+

[14] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 3-8-2014 at 03:06 PM · [top]

Ah…. just thought of some more *PRECIOUS* memories from goodtimes here at SF…. Elf barbeque recipes!!!  They sure were tasty critters, although a bit chewy!!!  grin

[15] Posted by Karen B. on 3-8-2014 at 03:15 PM · [top]

I am amazed that the SF bloggers are still blogging and writing and working together.  I am also amazed that we are still friends.  That is simply a miracle.

I am *so* grateful to have met Greg and Matt and Jackie, first. It has been a blessing from God, and honestly 10 years ago changed my life in ways I couldn’t explain here.

Then we all got to meet David Ould, and then Tim and Allan and David Fischler.  I feel honored and amazed that we are all together.

Over the years, we’ve maintained Skype chat almost every single day, and I’ve had a bird’s eye view on the stresses and issues and crises of our personal lives, and have a good deal of respect for what all the bloggers have gone through, while still chugging away, and most of those things kept private as well. 

Plus I get a daily stream of analysis, assessment, and perspective on news headlines, Anglican happenings, and much more.  The level of trust that it takes to share as much as we have done over the years is a real blessing.  There are times when I’ve said stuff on our Skype that I haven’t said to anyone.  I appreciate you all more than I can say.

Finally, I am grateful for the commenters.  Some of you have been commenting almost from the beginning and I have never physically met you—but oh, how I feel that I know you. 

It’s a pretty incredible place here.

[16] Posted by Sarah on 3-8-2014 at 03:19 PM · [top]

I have to admit that my first contact with US Anglican blogs was a chance connection through a google search for something or other which linked to a post on Titus One Nine.  I was fascinated to read the story of what was going on in the US church and internationally and through that came across and started reading Stand Firm.  That must have been in around 2006 and I lurked for quite a while and then took the plunge, registered in early 2007 and placed my first comment.  Some of the denizens took an interest and I think it was Brer Rabbit and Truth Unites and Divides who decided to check out this Englishman - something which was and I think probably still is a rareity on these sites.  Anyway, I had a bit of fun with them and the rest as they say is history - I was hooked. 

It also encouraged me to go on a voyage around my church both domestically and internationally, something which has been a huge blessing and encouraged my faith enormously, although a testing time as well.  It has been a huge privilege to come across so many wonderful Christians from across the world who are doing work for the Gospel normally in extremely challenging situations.  What better for a pewsitter from an English church?

That engagement has been remarkable - I can’t think of any other environment where one can discuss faith and doctrine with members of Christian denominations from across the world, or have the ability to engage with people about what they are facing in persecution from outside, and somewhat shockingly from inside the church.  The fact that one can engage from anyone from a missionary to a bishop from any part of the globe in such an online community is remarkable, and it has been humbling to witness the faithfulness shown and to talk to those who are dealing with these challenges.

I am very grateful for that opportunity, and to those at Stand Firm who have made it possible.  Greg in particular has used his amazing technical ministry to make it happen, and as he alludes to - in the modern online environment, such a ministry can not only report events, but also influence them.

God bless Stand Firm and those who participate in this community for the future.

[17] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 3-8-2014 at 03:23 PM · [top]

Congratulations on standing firm for 10 years today, Stand Firm in Faith. <3

I got here as soon as I could, June 15th. . . I’m looking forward to meeting all y’all face to face in Glory. I crossed trails with Matt at the ACNA coming out party at The Billy Graham Evangelism Center at Wheaton -he was live blogging and I was helping David Virtue; then, I held a publicly advertized SF Gathering of DRG SF members at the Cooperage so that Sister Sarah could meet elsewhere with some of those not yet out in the open in the DRG. Sarah missed a great meal at the Cooperage, -one SFer drove over 85 miles one way to enjoy their first and only Stand Firm Gathereing just East of the Rio Grande.

Keep up the faithful reporting from different orthodox perspectives. My late wife Bev put A Little Stone Bridge in our backyard—It’ll have to be moved with the St. Francis when the house is sold. . . 

Adiós. . .

Bob †
. . . still ridin’ for the brand.

[18] Posted by Bob Maxwell+ on 3-8-2014 at 04:01 PM · [top]

Best wishes on this auspicious anniversary.

[19] Posted by Nikolaus on 3-8-2014 at 04:16 PM · [top]

Still lurking once in a while even though the Episcopal Church is dead to me.  Cheers!

[20] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 3-8-2014 at 05:10 PM · [top]

An honest and open dialogue is a good thing, even if some of us tend to disagree with one another now and then.  Congratulations, Matt+, Sarah, and others!  Thanks so much for what you do in standing firm for Christ and His Church.

[21] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-8-2014 at 05:10 PM · [top]

Congratulations and a joyous 10th, boss.  Give your secretar…ERRRRR executive assistants Sarah, Matt and the rest of the SF staff Monday off.  They’ve earned it.

[22] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 3-8-2014 at 05:13 PM · [top]

When you are in the trenches, Greg and Stacey are great friends to have. 
The contributors at SF have been so tolerant of my many shameless links to prayers at Lent & Beyond.  From time to time I’ve seen various commenters post prayers of their own, and I think that is a measure of the sense of community among the readers. 
My favorite posts were Irenaeus’ The Revisionist Dictionary, Part I, Part II,  and Part III.  It is no longer available, but I loved David Ould’s post entitled “The Panel of Reference Springs into Action.”  I clicked on the link with great expectation (Oh, was I naive!) and found a photograph of a Galapagos tortoise.
Many thanks to all involved.

[23] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 3-8-2014 at 05:19 PM · [top]

A big congratulations on this major milestone!  Can’t miss this without dedicating you a Dylan tune - this one is for you!

bb

[24] Posted by BabyBlue on 3-8-2014 at 05:38 PM · [top]

I joined April 10, 2006, but know I was reading before that. Thank you for being a pipeline of sanity and truth and interesting conversation amidst the worst of the Anglican angst of the last ten years.

[25] Posted by Ann McCarthy on 3-8-2014 at 05:39 PM · [top]

BTW, re: join dates:  the blog was redone in Jan 2006, I believe.  So no one’s registration date on *this version* of SF would be showing as prior to Jan 2006, even if you commented actively in 2004 and 2005.

[26] Posted by Karen B. on 3-8-2014 at 05:54 PM · [top]

When the Executive Council of TEC joined the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice,  I turned to Greg, and he boldly picked up the pro-life banner.  I think he helped to set the tone for whole Anglican blogosphere.  It was that year that the traffic went through the roof.  I’ll always believe that God was blessing the blog.

[27] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 3-8-2014 at 05:58 PM · [top]

Happy birthday and many thanks to you all for your tireless efforts!  I joined June of 2006 (though I think I lurked for some weeks or months beforehand).  SF has kept us all informed and given fits to hazy, lazy and downright heretical Anglicanism. Love it!

[28] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 3-8-2014 at 06:15 PM · [top]

Congratulations and a big thank you, Stand Firm!  After a year plus of lurking I’m posting my first comment ever to let you know how much I appreciate you all.

[29] Posted by aliasismo on 3-8-2014 at 08:04 PM · [top]

Greg asked me to join Stand Firm way back in 2005, around the time that I concluded Ecumenical Insanity. I was honored to be asked, but was tired of blogging, and gave it up for a couple of years. I then started The Reformed Pastor (which is back on the air, BTW), and had a great time with that. But when Greg came back and asked again if I would become part of the SF team, I couldn’t resist.

I’m finishing up a D.Min at Trinity School for Ministry, and between that and writing about TEC and joining SF, I feel like an honorary Anglican. (In fact, Greg still thinks I actually am one!) It has been a joy to get to know Greg, Matt, Sarah (even if she is MEAN), Jackie, Allan, Tim, and David Ould and his family, whom my wife and I were blessed to host for five days during their grand tour of America. And it also been a blast to read the insights of the commenters over the years. So many of you have helped deepen my understanding of Anglicanism, enabled me to keep up with what is going on in the church and the world, and made me laugh. I can’t thank you enough.

This is Irving Moskowitz signing off from the secret Mossad bunker deep within the northern Virginia suburbs. Mazel tov, y’all!

[30] Posted by David Fischler on 3-8-2014 at 08:13 PM · [top]

Yeah, Greg, you omitted any mention of the volcano lair.

I scrounged around on my hard drive and I was able to dig up the blueprints for the highly secret SF volcano lair. 

http://nmbdesigner.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/esquire-yolt-volcano-artwork-james-bond-007.jpg?w=300&h=223

I hereby release them to the world!

[31] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 3-8-2014 at 08:28 PM · [top]

Happy 10th to Stand Firm, Greg and all those involved through the years.  I’ve been reading it since 05 or 06 having heard of and read some of Matt’s things. Best wishes for the next ten years.

Bob Tomlinson+

[32] Posted by bob+ on 3-8-2014 at 11:03 PM · [top]

I feel like a newbie after reading this post and the comments.  Can’t say exactly when I first discovered Stand Firm, but it was about 5 or 6 years ago.  Some dear friends of mine were caught up in the fight in the now-Anglican parishes in Northern Virginia, and I was trying to find what the Sam Hill was going on in TEC.  Even though not directly involved, I kept coming back to Stand Firm because developments in the Anglican world were a microcosm of the mainline Protestant denominations.  And I kept coming because I often found great insights for walking with Christ, even when all the world seems to conspire against it.  I can relate with David Fischler as a Presbyterian who feels like an honorary Anglican because I now regularly start off conversations with my Presbyterian friends saying, “Have you heard what just happened in the Church of England?” or some such.  And it seems to be wearing off, at least on my pastor; he asked me last week for the link to St. Ebbe’s, Oxford, because I keep sharing stories I’ve picked up from listening to their sermons.  It probably didn’t hurt that somehow both St. Ebbe’s and my PCA church in Maryland did sermon series on Habakkuk about six weeks apart; St. Ebbe’s led off, so I had deja vu when we started our series.

[33] Posted by Reformed Wanderer on 3-8-2014 at 11:11 PM · [top]

In early 2006 Chris Colby agreed to let me become his Deacon at his church and handed me a business card for the Stand Firm site and suggested I check it out.  I didn’t until the new PB was elected.  In shock, I then took a look and realized there were a LOT of people who were as/more upset than me.

Been around since and was honored to sit in the “volcano lair” to see some of the inner workings!

God bless Greg….....God has used your unique gifts to do a lot of good!

[34] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-9-2014 at 06:53 AM · [top]

My introduction came from Chris Colby+, a cherished friend.  I finally agreed to attend a meeting where this guy Greg Griffith was giving a presentation.  That’s when Stand Firm Louisiana was born.  I still remember the first tutoring lesson from GG.  He was trying very patiently to teach me some html basics, like making a link and I kept asking him questions like “Why put a space there and not here?” Finally, he patiently responded by saying, “Just trust me okay?”  He has been trying to erase from my memory ever since not to use two spaces after a period. 

Then Katrina hit.  We still date things here as Before and After Katrina. 

It was Teresa Mathes who jolted me out of my post Katrina non-blogging stupor almost a year later. 

It was a joy to finally meet Matt and Sarah in person at the HOB held in New Orleans.  We were all delighted to get the opportunity to break bread with many other bloggers and commenters during that weekend. 

In one of our group conversations, I remember GG saying something along the lines of for whatever reason God has seen fit to pull us together at this place and this time.  Indeed He has.  And for allowing me to be a part, I give thanks to my fellow bloggers as well as the SF community.

Jill, The Revisionist Dictionary is still available.  Here are the links:  Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

[35] Posted by Jackie on 3-9-2014 at 09:33 AM · [top]

Off topic, but I compiled and updated Irenaeus’ Revisionist Dictionary and titled it “Revisionist Dictionary: Revised and Re-visioned Edition” last year. It is still open for updating if anyone spots a new revisionist catch phrase.

Perhaps SF should have a memorials page to remember commenters who are no longer with us?

[36] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-9-2014 at 11:14 AM · [top]

my first nominee would be Snarkster.  I miss his wit and his gentle manner.

[37] Posted by Jackie on 3-9-2014 at 12:12 PM · [top]

Congrats.
We know whence you came, but whither ye go?

[38] Posted by paradoxymoron on 3-9-2014 at 12:16 PM · [top]

my first nominee would be Snarkster.  I miss his wit and his gentle manner.

Great suggestion, jackie.  When I first joined up in June 2006, I remember always looking for, hoping for some pithy comment from the Snarkster.  No one since has matched him.

[39] Posted by hanks on 3-9-2014 at 12:27 PM · [top]

Happy tenth anniversary! StandFirm has been my go to site for Anglican news ever since the sites consolidated.

[40] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 3-9-2014 at 04:20 PM · [top]

My Join Date is in June of 2006, when my parents went to General Convention as intercessors.  My mom happened across a young priest sitting on the floor typing away (close to a power source) - and recognized Matt Kennedy.  I had been lurking for quite a while, but finally joined and followed that Convention almost hourly. 
I’m an occasional commenter - 700+ comments in 8 years, but I check in daily. 
As a preacher’s kid, I spent a long time avoiding “church politics”, but realized that there is no avoiding it - it is about how we work in community.

Thank you all for the hard work you do, and please continue doing so.

[41] Posted by GillianC on 3-9-2014 at 07:25 PM · [top]

April 2006, and this is comment #2300 - yikes. I check Stand Firm almost daily, often more than once. I can’t think of how many important news items have come up here first, before our clergy found out through regular channels, bringing transparency and shining light on what was meant to be kept in the dark.

Some of what gets posted here is merely church politics, but much is about dead-serious spiritual warfare. There have been some amazing dialogues.

Congratulations!

Rafe

[42] Posted by Ralph on 3-9-2014 at 08:06 PM · [top]

Opened up the BabyBlueCafe vaults and found this photo of Greg Griffith I took the week I first met him at the 2006 General Convention in Columbus.  It looks like it’s just waiting for a caption.

bb

[43] Posted by BabyBlue on 3-9-2014 at 08:23 PM · [top]

Snarkster (Michael Ware) would be tickled and humbled to know that we’re talking about him in such fond terms this long after his death. God rest his soul. I remember when he emailed me asking if I could “impose” on one of my priest friends to come pray with him before he went in for exploratory surgery for cancer. I showed up with none other than George Woodliif, and Mike was floored. We sat and talked, and prayed, and laughed, and that was the last time I saw Snarkster.

[44] Posted by Greg Griffith on 3-9-2014 at 09:10 PM · [top]

323 or so comments since joining makes me a true lurker. Like others I’ve checked in almost everyday and like others some days more than once.  Since retiring I don’t make it here everyday but I do read those post I have an interest in and all the comments.  Again keep up the good work.

[45] Posted by bob+ on 3-9-2014 at 11:55 PM · [top]

God grant you many years.

[46] Posted by Dragonfly on 3-10-2014 at 06:57 AM · [top]

Many thanks for 10 years of great - and much needed - work.

[47] Posted by tired on 3-10-2014 at 07:35 AM · [top]

To Greg, thank you for starting this blog.  It has been a great resource for many things Anglican in these turbulent times.

To Matt+, Tim+, Sarah, Allan and the others, you have given me great insights.

Happy 10th!!

BillB

[48] Posted by BillB on 3-10-2014 at 09:17 AM · [top]

I joined in 2007, so a veritable latecomer compared to most folks here.  But I’ve made some friends, like Mousestalker (we and our spouses spent one hilarious evening at the Shakespeare Tavern!).  And I’ve got some additions in my personal cookbook that will never be equaled… especially Greg Griffith’s ribs recipe, used at least once a year for family gatherings!)

I’ve been encouraged, humbled, amused, tickled, ticked off… but mostly reminded how good it is to be an Anglican.

Oh, and speaking of Mousetalker, he had some of *THE BEST* taglines for his posts:

“Placing your hands over your ears and saying “la la la” is not liturgical chant.”
“The Episcopal Church: We blink at reality more than fifteen times a minute.”
and my personal favorite…
“Bad theology can be contagious. Get inoculated!”

[49] Posted by zana on 3-10-2014 at 11:29 AM · [top]

RE:  “It looks like it’s just waiting for a caption.”

Greg consoles himself at GC 2006, that at least he hasn’t had to go out to coffee with that Moot guy.

[50] Posted by J Eppinga on 3-10-2014 at 11:44 AM · [top]

You know, when I left my Episcopal church 3 years ago, I had no idea of the scope of the problems in the church at large. I was a silly pewsitter and thought things were only bad here in Virginia and none of it seemed to bother anyone else. I really thought I was alone. I didn’t know that ACNA or AMiA or any options existed for me and ended up at a Baptist church I’d gone to some as a child, for fear of being homeless altogether.
The culture shock was HUGE & I had serious second thoughts. I started to wonder if I was one of these judgmental ‘fundies’ I was always hearing about. I wanted to go back so bad but just knew it wasn’t right. It was agonizing. So one day, I got tired of thinking about it and flip-flopping & wondering where I fit in the Body. To try and settle my mind, I googled the (admittedly bald) phrase, “is the episcopal church actually apostate?”. I don’t remember which post it was but Stand Firm was the first result and I’ve been a daily reader ever since.
I’m still pretty solitary & haven’t yet found a church but I do know that I’m part of a community. You are doing a wonderfully important work here & I thank you!

[51] Posted by amccoy37 on 3-10-2014 at 01:04 PM · [top]

For those of us who have not left the Episcopal Church, Stand Firm is truly a beacon in the dark.

[52] Posted by Great Western Heresy on 3-10-2014 at 01:53 PM · [top]

You guys ROCK!  Thanks for all your dedication…you DO make a difference!

[53] Posted by B. Hunter on 3-10-2014 at 03:58 PM · [top]

You guys deserve kudos. There is too much cowardice, too much compromise. Your bravery and determination are admirable. You give hope and encouragement to the rest of us. We know we are not alone, and that truth trumps the numbers and the loudness of the opposition.

[54] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 3-10-2014 at 06:17 PM · [top]

Congratulations Greg and team.

I am not going to use the word “minion”- I distinctly get the ethos of “team”, over the years at SF…  tongue wink

Blogging has proven to be a strategic vector for church reform and fellowship in the 21st century, perhaps as significant in its impact as the printing press was in the 16th century.  And SF has been in the forefront.  May you long continue.

[55] Posted by MichaelA on 3-10-2014 at 09:49 PM · [top]

Congratulations and thanks,

Greg, you and all who joined you did something that many missionaries try to do; you built more than just a blog; you built a community.  All the kudos are well-deserved.  May we be blessed by many more years of StandFirm.

[56] Posted by Mathematicus on 3-10-2014 at 11:27 PM · [top]

I have been struggling to find the right words to thank you for all you have done over the past decade. Since my words are woefully inadequate, I will settle for a heart-felt thank you. I am ever so thankful for the marvelous work you all have done at Stand Firm. In the early days of the Anglican wars, I initially found Stand Firm Alabama and Stand Firm Mississippi, and later Stand Firm. Stand Firm was crucial to my education and to our work in our TEC diocese. Along the way there have bee little victories and big defeats, but my daily visits to Stand Firm have been a source comfort and camaraderie, as well as information and inspiration. I have also appreciated the humor that has always infused this blog. May God bless you all as you continue this important ministry.

[57] Posted by Maria Lytle on 3-11-2014 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Wow, ten years.  SF has been the one and only blog that I check and read daily since 04 or 5?  I don’t remember.  Can’t believe it, really.  The world has changed so much from the days when the most current information came through The Living Church and Episcopal Strife!  I remember getting chewed out by my former TEC bishop for getting my news from “the internet” and not from HIM. I so appreciate what you all do.  THANKS.

[58] Posted by Theron Walker✙ on 3-12-2014 at 04:41 PM · [top]

Congratulations on the successful 10 years!  I joined in 2007.  At the time I URGENTLY needed to know what the Anglican Communion was and was not doing, and my only source was Fr. David Kim!  Stand Firm broadened my horizons—and my hope—during some tough times between TEC and ACNA!

[59] Posted by Goughdonna on 3-13-2014 at 10:01 AM · [top]

Greg,

Thanks for getting StandFirm up and running and recruiting such a stellar cast of bloggers.  You and Sarah are my hands down favorites, with Jackie close behind.  Unfortunately, you have all but ceased to post and Sarah’s are few and far between these days.  I really miss you all.  Where else will one get such great instructions on proper barbecuing, or have the perfidy of “our worthy opponents,” exposed so scathingly and with such wit?

[60] Posted by evan miller on 3-13-2014 at 12:47 PM · [top]

Happy 10th Birthday Stand Firm!  Here’s to many more years of truth and light in a world that appears to be getting darker and more morally confused by the day.
Thanks be to God for the individuals who contribute to this website.  I pray that you will continue to bless them and their families.

[61] Posted by carpprop on 3-14-2014 at 05:18 PM · [top]

I’m late to the party (or am I actually still ahead of everyone? - this side of the International Date Line it’s so hard to tell) but I just wanted to add my own words.

I’ve loved being a part of Stand Firm since that slightly scary moment when Greg asked me to join the team. I’d been plugging away on my own site, “Drinking at the Whitehorse Inn” (courtesy of Binky and CANN) and offered up Greg some material on the Panel of Reference (remember them?) and after publication he offered me a place on the team. I was in absolutely no doubt it was a massive promotion and privilege but that first assumption was entirely inadequate.

Since then it’s been an amazing journey as we’ve watch first the collapse of TEC but now also increasingly important questions being asked of ACNA. We’ve seen the Church of England begin to slip further away and more recently I’ve been receiving a fair amount of material about the evident tensions here in Australia.

But what makes a stronger impression on me is the firm and fast friendships I’ve formed with the SF team. As Sarah writes above, we chat on skype every day and those growing relationships were only further enhanced during the great Ould family victory tour across the States last year where we were so privileged to meet up with Allan, Greg, Jackie, David and Matt with a brief wave at Sarah as our route almost got to her.

On the front end you see the fruit of all our work. What you don’t see is the deep care and affection that has formed between us. We have our disagreements but they are nothing compared to some of the loyalties and good counsel that we have shared with each other.

What an enormous joy it has all been.

[62] Posted by David Ould on 3-15-2014 at 12:52 AM · [top]

RE: “I really miss you all.”

Thank you, Evan.  I miss doing more blogging as well.  I’m in a season [at least I hope it’s a season, rather than “permanent”] where some other duties have really taken over my life and time, and I live like a wild woman much of the time.

It would be nice if that could change a bit.  We shall see.

[63] Posted by Sarah on 3-15-2014 at 08:43 AM · [top]

Blessings to you, Sarah!

[64] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-15-2014 at 01:14 PM · [top]

Thank all of you for your work over the years. I was confirmed into the Episcopal Church in late May 2006 and by June I was hooked on your Gen Con coverage. I’ve been a daily reader of Stand Firm ever since. It was the first feed I subscribed to on gReader and the first feed I migrated over when gReader shut down.

It has been difficult to feels God’s call to be in a Church who’s leadership tries so hard to make people like me feel unwelcome. I couldn’t have made it without Stand Firm and its community.

Happy birthday. Here’s to ten more.

[65] Posted by Ecclesiastes 1:18 on 3-20-2014 at 03:35 AM · [top]

Matt, Greg, Sarah, met at the ifirst “Mere Chritianity in Charelston.  What a great group you gathered their. How many “Purple Shirts” were there that week?
Wow, and thanks for all these great years of reading.
Roman

[66] Posted by romans1 on 3-28-2014 at 04:07 PM · [top]

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  Congrats on 10 years of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.  God Bless!

[67] Posted by miserable sinner on 3-29-2014 at 01:16 PM · [top]

Aa one of the first, but no longer daily, readers or commenters, since I have ‘given up’ on my Anglican ministry and become a MS Lutheran layman, choo ngratulations on making it these ten momentous years.

I, too, miss the Snarkster.  His comments were succinct…and generally agreed with mine…

Many more years, guys (and gals) of conservative, liturgical comment.

Just plain Chip

[68] Posted by Chip Johnson+, cj on 3-30-2014 at 06:46 AM · [top]

This blog was a needed, perhaps essential, resource for TEC lay members in the middle of the last decade as they sought to discern the truth and examine options.

Its hard to believe the war of the lawyers and Judges, which started in the early 2000s, is still playing out in Texas and South Carolina.  Some of the earliest topics of discussion, such as what, or who, should be called “Anglican”, are still debated.

My favorite article was the one about the seats on the bus.

As an ACNA member, I hope this forum can continue to foster accountability for my denomination.  We will be known by our fruits.

Thank you!

[69] Posted by Going Home on 3-30-2014 at 12:46 PM · [top]

From those early days when lurking and reading was balm to the wounded soul here in Chicago, to the more active days with a small group of posters, and now back to occasional visits as we moved on, I thank you Greg for your faithfulness to this medium and it’s ability to keep us all connected.

I personally thank you for your kind couple of emails when things were so very bleak here in Chicago and our family was hurting so badly.  You don’t remember—but my husband and I do and we thank you for that kindness. 

Blessings,

Summersnow
aka/Susan Jones Engelhardt

[70] Posted by Summersnow on 4-18-2014 at 10:37 PM · [top]

Seems like much longer than ten years.  You have all fought the good fight and continued to ‘Stand Firm’.

Well done good and faithful servants.

[71] Posted by St. Nikao on 4-27-2014 at 10:18 AM · [top]

Happy birthday SF and thank you Greg, et al.

My lateness to the birthday party is explained (not excused) by my retirement from the ministry of the Episcopal Church. I’ve dropped out thoroughly.

SF and Titus were oxygen to the life-blood of the fight for gracious orthodoxy in that church. A public warning from our now-retired bishop to stop paying attention to the internet sources was testimony to your impact.

The battle was lost nationally in Columbus and locally when our diocese elected the candidate for bishop who proclaimed his advocacy of same-sex blessings. But SF carried on finding the path through the ruins.

Looking forward, here’s a lead. A week from today—at Clergy Day—the Bishop of Upper SC will roll out the plan for implementing same-sex blessings in congregation that seek such. I phoned a clergy friend who is still serving and asked if any clergy with traditional beliefs were talking about this step. He said, “No, it’s a done deal.” I knew it was a “done deal,” but was interested that organized “testifying” for traditional beliefs is probably over.

So, happy birthday, and carry on.

[72] Posted by folchal on 5-1-2014 at 09:04 AM · [top]

Greg,

Thank you and all of your fellow authors on Stand Firm, first for being here as I began to realize that I could not, in good conscience remain in TEC, and, second, for providing a place to think (as it were) out loud in the presence of fellow Christians. And last, but certainly not least, for the opportunities to contribute to the conversation in some small ways. My wife and I now live in San Antonio, having moved here from the Seattle area over 6 days in October of last year. And we have found what is, for us, the best of all possible church homes, Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church, the founding parish for the Anglican Use Rite in the United States.

Pax et bonum and prayers for God’s continuing blessings on all of you and your families,
Keith Töpfer

[73] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 2-3-2015 at 01:53 PM · [top]

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