See you on the other side

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I started the Conciliar Anglican in 2011 as a way of exploring my own questions of Anglican identity. My experience of the Christian faith growing up had been spotty to say the least. It was only when I got to seminary that I really began to learn what it means to be a Christian. Formation in the chapel of Berkeley Divinity School, reading the Fathers, and breathing in the incense at Christ Church in New Haven all had a profound effect upon me. By the time I left New Haven, I was sure that I wanted to be a Christian, sure even that I wanted to be a Catholic, and more sure than ever that I was called to be a priest. What I was not sure about anymore was whether I should be an Anglican. I had large questions and even larger doubts about what it might mean to live out the Catholic faith in the context of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Five years into my priesthood, those questions and doubts prompted me to create this project and see where it would lead. Five more years and a hundred and thirty two posts later, I still have a lot of those same questions and doubts, but I have learned a tremendous amount and my faith has been greatly deepened along the way.

This blog has been a blessing to many people. I know because I receive messages daily that tell me so. I was as surprised as anyone when the readership of the Conciliar Anglican took off. I assumed that I was the only person nerdy enough or pained enough by these questions to want to read long essays on what many would consider a very dull subject. But for whatever reason, this blog touched a chord. It gave people access to parts of the Anglican tradition that had heretofore been unavailable to them, lost under a mountain of old books somewhere rather than alive and well in the life of parish churches. In addition to the many questions I have been sent via “Ask an Anglican,” I have received countless messages from people who have told me that they have found a deeper connection to their faith through what they read here. I cannot tell you how moving that is for me. I am deeply humbled by it. However much you think this project has done for you, rest assured that your engagement with it has done just as much if not more for me.

It hasn’t all been roses, of course. When you are thinking out loud, which is essentially what a blog is, some of your thoughts are bound to be duds. In retrospect, I wish that some of the harder apologetic pieces I wrote had been more nuanced. I have thought, re-thought, and re-thought again certain questions, which means that I don’t see everything today exactly as I saw it two or three or four years ago. On the whole, though, I’m proud of this little blog and what it has accomplished. My life would not be the same today if I had never begun this funny little project. Every opportunity I have had professionally in the last five years has stemmed in one way or another from the Conciliar Anglican. It has been a joy and a privilege to do this.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

I have felt for some time now that this project has run its course. There are other places on the web that have grown up in recent times and filled the gap that The Conciliar Anglican was created to fill. Additionally, my own thoughts and interests have shifted so that I find more joy now in other projects. Moreover, as my children have gotten older, my time to write has become smaller. All of this has meant that the Conciliar Anglican has been largely neglected in the last year or so as other things have taken priority. Rather than letting the situation linger forever, I believe that it is time to bring this project to a close. The site will remain live for the time being, but I will not be writing new posts. But I’m not going away! I will continue to write for my other blog, Working the Beads, as well as for Covenant. And of course, God and Comics will continue as well. So this is not so much “Farewell” as it is “See you on the other side.”

There are many people I want to thank as I turn out the light. I want to thank the people who helped me out behind the scenes and helped me to think through many of the pieces here, like Fr. John Thorpe, Fr. Peter Tierney, and Fr. Kyle Tomlin. I want to thank Benjamin Guyer for his work in helping for a time to answer “Ask an Anglican” questions. I also want to thank my family and my parish for allowing me the time and space to devote to this project.

The people I want to thank the most though are those of you who have consistently read the blog, asked questions, interacted in the comments, and generally made this whole thing worthwhile. You all challenged my mind and increased my faith. The internet is so often a place where thoughtful interaction and honest, constructive debate cannot take place. For the most part, that has not been the case here. Your interest and enthusiasm for this project is a testimony, not to me, but to the great riches that God has given to His Church. I have not nearly enough words to thank you. My heart is full when I think of you. May the blessing of God our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be upon each of you today and always.

Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

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9 Responses to See you on the other side

  1. John Judge says:

    Fr. Jonathan, thanks for all of the work you put into this project. I have completely enjoyed it. God bless you.

  2. Jeremy Young says:

    Fr. Jonathan, thank you for this blog and the Youtube videos. I have thoroughly enjoyed them. Many times, you have helped refresh my memory of things learned in seminary. May the Lord bless you and your family.

  3. David Segal says:

    Fr. Jonathan, I am sorry to see this blog come to an end, but I understand your decision. Thank you so much for the education you have given me as an Anglo-Catholic member of the ACNA. May God continue to bless you and your future work.

  4. Logan Sowers says:

    Your blog has been enriching, even for an Orthodox Christian such as myself. Thank you.

  5. Catherine Campbell says:

    Thank you, Fr. Jonathan – your articles have contributed so much to my understanding and appreciation of our traditions and Anglicanism in general. I live in South Africa. Will continue to follow you on your other blogs. May God continue to pour out His blessings on your life.

  6. Thanks for the thoughts. Many of them helped me along my own trail to Canterbury, and as I too have contemplated swimming the Tiber from time to time.

  7. Lorenzo Marconi says:

    Thank you, Fr. Jonathan. I have immensely enjoyed reading your blog. It was part of the reason (along with my experiences at my parish) that I have confidently stepped into my self-understanding as a Prayer Book Catholic/Classical High Church Anglican.

    Many blessings to you sir.

  8. Ignatius G. says:

    Dear Fr. Jonathan, thank you so very much for this blog, which has been instrumental in my Christian journey. I am very happy you will continue to write and I wish you the best in every endeavor. You mention there are websites on the web that have “filled the gap that The Conciliar Anglican was created to fill.” Is there one or a few that you could recommend? All the best and God bless!

  9. Thomas Owens says:

    I have just discovered this blog. I hope you will leave it up for others to be blessed by who didn’t get to enjoy it when you were writing for it. May God bless you.

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