Although Field of Dreams was perhaps a bit too much of the “feel good”, the message of the 1989 film based on the W.P. Kinsella book has always resonated with me: a man with a vision, too compelled by the urgency of the idea to give it up. A modern day metaphor for the biblical prophet? Perhaps.
However, the notion that “if you build it… they will come” has stayed with me ever since first watching star Kevin Costner struggle with his compulsion that the ball field would be far more than anyone could even imagine. I see the theme played out again and again–most often on a very small scale.
And so it has been with “A Country Deacon“, a Google Apps site web space that is part of a much larger project to bring a collaborative on-line resource to the deacon community in the Diocese of Syracuse. Several years ago I acquired the deacons.us domain for a whopping $2.99/yr. while still in diaconate formation. I wasn’t ready to do anything with it right then… but I had the kernel of a vision.
Today, www.deacons.us is shaping up to become the collaborative space that I first considered in my pre-ordination years. The driving force has most certainly been the Holy Spirit working oh, so subtly through my neophyte vocation and evolving ministry to our churches.
This past week we kicked off a Lenten discussion series on St. Paul: Small Christian Communities – Learning & Living St. Paul’s Message. The A Country Deacon space has been invaluable in providing the structure for a collaboration among the 30 or so participants gathered weekly at three different homes in our parishes. By adding a page featuring downloadable resources on St. Paul and a space that shares my “30-Day Walk with St. Paul” with all of the participants–my “ball field” is taking shape.
I’ve built it… and now they’re coming. Here’s hoping the first pitch yields a homerun!