Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | March 30, 2020

A Great Blast from the Past

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If you’re not familiar with the term, “Via media, via modem”, you’ve missed out on what was probably one of the most interesting places on the ‘net of the time – Anglican List, also known as St. Sam’s. Having reconnected with a lot of the list members on Facebook over the years has been a real blessing.

Doing Church Online Before It Was a Thing

Way before there was a worldwide pandemic that made many churches temporarily suspend services, a group of Anglicans and Episcopalians met together on an email list. I joined in 1998, not long after being confirmed. Meeting this group of people was an exciting experience for an 18-year-old eager to learn more about the wider Anglican world.

Even though being part of an email list isn’t the same thing as attending physical services, it helps provide a greater sense of connection with like-minded people. When I found myself temporarily in between parishes due to moves, Ang-L helped provide me with friends who were people of faith.

Discovering St. Sam’s

I’ll admit that my first couple of attempts to get involved on message boards or email lists that included people of faith left a bit to be desired. One of my first such encounters involved a board geared general discussion for students that had a crop of angry evangelicals who were out to convert everyone and weren’t fond of mainline church members – I made a friend there I’m still in touch with on Facebook, but exited that board quickly.

My second online faith-based encounter involved an Episcopal-based email list where the hot-button topics generated discussion that often crossed a line into incivility. However, one bright spot was when a few fellow list members introduced me to St. Sam’s, or Anglican List.

Of List Babies and Lasting Friendships

When I joined St. Sam’s, I had the distinction of being the “list baby” (youngest list member). Being that involved with Church-related things at such a young age gave me a perspective that was unique in a setting with a lot of other adults mostly older than me. (Indeed, I set up an Episcopal FAQs website early on that still exists in a section on this blog).

The biggest takeaway from my time being part of this list was how much of a sense of community there was and still is. In this time of social distancing due to coronavirus, our connections with people both near and far are all the more important. From once having had the opportunity to take part in a list meet with another member years ago to most of us finding each other again on Facebook, these friendships do matter.

May we never forget about how much others matter.

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