The first time I was introduced to Patheos was when I met Leo Brunnick, a founder and CEO of Patheos, when he came to present to the Harvard University Chaplains in 2012. I was a Jewish chaplain at the university at the time and was quite impressed with his passion, vision and determination to build an interactive, engaging online space for both intrafaith and interfaith dialogue and learning. I felt inspired by his presentation and asked him to become a blogger for Patheos and was quite pleased when he agreed.
Patheos is now 5 years old today and it’s a good opportunity for reflection. We live in an utterly integrated world with technology and that integration is only becoming more seamless as time goes on. We live out our lives both physically and digitally. A significant anniversary is a good moment to stop and take stock of where we were and where we are going. This forum has provided me a place to think out loud about community building (Torah Learning as the Foundation of Community, first post on March 2012) on the implications of reduced privacy in our contemporary society (The Rutgers Webcam Tragedy and The Right to Privacy) and horrific tragedies like the shooting in Aurora (One Year Since Aurora) and a host of other issues.
As I have transitioned from campus and pulpit to now Jewish social justice this blog and this larger Patheos community is a testing ground for new ideas, a place to challenge and be challenged and, at times, simply a place to think and reflect openly. The value it brings is unique to other blogging platforms because of its cultivation of an explicitly diverse faith and non-faith community; it’s coalition of thinkers, seekers, explorers and searchers. I can look through my contributions to this forum over the past 3 years and witness my growth and development and see it as a microcosm of the growth of this entire endeavor.
On a birthday traditionally Jews wish the person celebrating: “ad meah v’esrim,” until 120! A reference to the age of Moses when he passed away. It represents completeness and a fulfillment of purpose. To Patheos: until 120! May this endeavor experience its fullness of purpose and continue to grow and build.