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Support the Café and help us grow

Support the Café and help us grow

by Jon White, Café editor

A year ago the Café transitioned into a new stage of life; we formally incorporated as non-profit and began seeking the financial support of our readers.    We were faced with that choice because our site had grown too big for the private servers where it lived, and we needed to engage the services of a commercial server company (we use Bluehost, BTW).  Because of that we also needed to update the software we use to manage the site and its contents, which meant a whole new look for the site – which not everyone loved – but the same great content remained!  It was a bit of a gamble, but one I am happy to say has worked out pretty well.  Donations have met our operating costs and readership continues to grow, as does our reach on social media.

So I’m here again to ask for your support, but I’d like us to do more than just maintain; I’d like for the Cafe to be even better!

Oh, just in case you didn’t know, we are completely independent and autonomous ministry and receive no support from the Episcopal Church, nor are we a ministry of any diocese, parish or other church institution.

 

My wish list for 2016

First off, we have always relied on volunteers for everything we do, from content creation to addressing technical issues with the site.  If we can get sufficient support, I’d like to be able to create our first paid position, a part-time journalist who can follow up on stories and create even more original content.  A free press, with investigative abilities is as important to the accountability and transparency of our church leadership as it is for civil authorities.  We’d also like to contract with a technical service provider (our own geek, as it were) to ensure emerging issues are dealt with with quickly without imposing too heavily on our volunteers.

I’d also like to begin the process of a custom redesign of our site to meet our specific needs.  Our current layout works pretty well, but after a year we have a better idea of what’s working and what the weakenesses are – and what opportunities we’re missing.  Last year we had no resources and little time and I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out, but I also know how much better it could be if we had the time and resources to plan and execute a site to meet our specific needs.

And for a stretch goal, I’d really like to create a Spanish language version of the Café and am intent doing so as soon as possible, but that is a really big undertaking and we need some dedicated effort and resources to make it happen.

So there you go, you can make it happen (or not) – but I can promise that we will continue to do all we can to bring you the best content possible.

 

And lest I forget, I want to thank all of the volunteers who have made this amazing first year of EpiscopalCafe2.0 possible: Andrew Gerns,  Cara Modisett, Rosalind Hughes, David Streever, David Allen, Matthew Weston, John Chilton, Ann Fontaine, Anne Smith, Martin Elfert, Jennifer Brandlon, Amy Haynie, Lora Walsh, Leslie Scoopmire, Kristin Fontaine, Maria Evans, Linda Ryan, Linda McMillan, David Sellery, Laurie Gudim, Annette Joseph, and Alice Campbell as well as all of our contributors!

 

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to the Cafe Fund (through Paypal) by clicking on the red Donate Now button below or in the sidebar of any article.
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If you’d rather not make a donation online, donations can also be mailed to: Episcopal Cafe, 200 Virginia St, Beckley, WV 25801.

 

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Philip B. Spivey

Oops! "...for the Cafe..."

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Philip B. Spivey

I will summon a donation the the Cafe in the new year, with God's help. 🙂

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Jared Cramer

Any details on where you are now and where you would need to be with donations to make this happen?

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Phil Gentry

I agree with Melissa; the constant presence of conservative commentators makes the comment section pretty much unreadable for me. I realize it's t not the Café's fault per se, and I also don't know what the solution looks like. But there is a tremendous diversity of opinion within the Episcopal left, and having to constantly argue with trolling conservative commenters--and yes, trolling is what they are doing, even if it is civil--inhibits us from having nuanced discussion where we can disagree with each other.

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Ann Fontaine

Ignore them and carry on. That is my solution for trolls.

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David Allen

Many posts that don't receive a lot of attention here on the Cafe website, do receive attention on the Cafe Facebook page. They are commented on and shared, as well as liked.

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Prof Christopher Seitz

When you speak of 'trolls' who do you have in mind?

I am glad to see the moderator say he welcomes conservative commentary and wants to model a unity that includes all.

I also think this is practically wise. I'd say 1/2 of the posting see no comments at all, or very few.

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Philip B. Spivey

I agree, Jon. I support our First Amendment right of free speech, even in the Episcopal Church. If we can't tolerate other view points---even those we find abhorrent (my definition being anything that counters or undermines our Baptismal Covenant), then we might as well close up shop.

The only thing I would not tolerate at this site is speech that endorses or incites hatred or violence toward anyone or anything.

I don't think that would be a stretch for most of us.

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

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