Adieu

TLC-Cover.jpgThis last Friday of August 2009 marks the final post of my third stint with GetReligion. I am grateful for each of my excursions with GetReligion since February 2003, and I thank my longtime friend Terry Mattingly for making each one possible.

I have made new friends among this blog’s readers. GetReligion has helped me adapt my style, shaped by roughly 20 years in print journalism, to the rowdier medium of the blogosphere. I will miss my colleagues, but I am eager to return to full-time work on the Godbeat. A reporter who is not reporting tends to be fidgety and neurotic, and I am already neurotic enough about plenty of other things.

My new work will be with The Living Church, a magazine that has covered the Episcopal Church since 1878. I am thankful for this opportunity to join TLC in promoting and supporting Catholic Anglicanism within the Episcopal Church. I have written freelance articles for TLC for more than 15 years. Some years, especially those involving the Episcopal Church’s trienniel General Convention, have kept me busier than others. TLC is based in Milwaukee, but I will remain in Virginia. Thus my new job title, which I requested: editor at large. It reflects my geographical distance, and it is lighthearted.

I have engaged in a lover’s quarrel with the Episcopal Church since the late 1980s, when I began feeling tensions between my understanding of the gospel and my church’s public image of finding a middle way in all things, including ethics and theology. Through much of the 1990s, this quarrel kept me in a place of anger.

Since then, I have found a deeper affection for the church that formed me from my earliest days as an acolyte. I have a renewed love for interviewing other Episcopalians, across the church’s theological spectrum, about what they believe and how they live in light of those beliefs.

My work now seems less like reporting a war and more like chronicling an impassioned, protracted family argument. (Yes, this thought occurred to me before I read Lisa Miller’s similar comparison in Newsweek.) My church family reminds me, in its lighter moments, of the Castorinis in Moonstruck: One minute we’re yelling at each other operatically, and the next we’re eating together.

In these days of shrinking news pages, widespread layoffs in newsrooms and imperiled metropolitan dailies, it’s a remarkable gift to be paid to write about something I love so deeply. I had better get on with it.

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  • http://www.post-gazette.com Ann Rodgers

    Doug,
    I will miss your comments on Getreligion.org but I am glad that you have found something you love, and look forward to seeing your work for TLC. If you ever need a guide to the extremely confusing Episcopal/Anglican landscape of Pittsburgh (where I have personlly called one Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh while looking for the bishop of the other Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh) just give me a yell.
    Ann Rodgers

  • MichaelV

    I’m going to miss your posts here. When I win the Mega Millions this week maybe I will find a way to bring you back through bribery or coercion. But in any case, keep up the good work!

  • Jerry

    I also will miss your voice here. My highest praise is that
    I’ve learned from reading your posts.

  • Tregonsee

    Unfortunate timing, in that after more than a decade, I have let my TLC subscription lapse. It was and is a wonderful resource, both in matters of faith, and in terms of news. David K’s editorials were wonderfully human. But for me, the times have passed TLC by. While it does cover ACNA/AMiA/CANA matters peripherally, the primary coverage is TEC. Certainly a “Well, duh, that is what they are supposed to do!” is not unreasonable, but TEC is now effectively the peripheral story. TLC, to live up to its name, needs to broaden its coverage, and shift the emphasis at least moderately.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Well, I’m glad you’re going to do something you love. It’s just sad for those of us who enjoy your posts here so much.

  • Chris Bolinger

    We’ll miss you, Doug!

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    To those who intend to play the lottery in the days ahead, in an attempt to fund the Rt. Rev. Douglas LeBlanc Throne of magazine criticism, here at GetReligion, please know that we will gladly take part in the delivery of the funds in an attempt to keep the digital yoke around the neck of our site’s beloved co-founder.

    Whew.

    I believe, last that I heard, Doug has agreed to keep his name in our contributors list in case that has non-Anglican content that he has to get off his chest. Hurrah for the small mercy.

  • Julia

    I, too, have learned from your posts. Good luck in your new venture.

  • Dave

    I will miss you, Doug, but isn’t it great to get paid for doing what you love?

  • Jerry

    Doug has agreed to keep his name in our contributors list in case that has non-Anglican content that he has to get off his chest. Hurrah for the small mercy.

    Doug, all I can say is that there’s quite a bit out there that could sit on your chest very easily.

  • stoo

    Hey man, good luck with that.

  • Gav Poole

    Hi from Sydney. Congratulations Doug. Moonstruck is one of my favourite movies as well. I believe however the current situation in TEC is more than a family feud. Imposters have come in and are intent on destroying the family. Furthermore they are tearing their children away from their distant brothers and sisters and the Patriarch sits by idle. Stand firm.

  • Sarah Webber

    Congrats, Doug. You’ll be missed.