Feast of Our Righteous Father Memnonus the Wonderworker
THIS SPRING has been a whirlwind of traveling, teaching, organizing book groups, developing the Hall of Men, creating a plan for consistent content on social media and the EDI website, and a great deal of deep introspection about the mission, the work, and the future of Eighth Day Institute.
In February we launched two new reading groups. The Cappadocian Society is for anybody involved in ministry. Led by Ben Davis, this group made a valiant launch by choosing Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age as its first book. They are in the fifth and final part, which means they still have close to 200 pages to go (out of 778)! The Florovsky Society is reading through the early Christian Fathers chronologically, beginning with the Apostolic Fathers. Thus far, they have read the Epistle and Homily of Clement of Rome, the Epistles of St Ignatius of Antioch, and the Epistle and Martyrdom of Polycarp. They are exploring an idea of launching a monthly event called “The Faith of Our Fathers” for those interested in learning more about the Fathers but unable to commit to a weekly reading group.
From mid-February through early April I peddled Eighth Day Institute and Eighth Day Books at five different conferences, traveling to Kentucky and Indiana with Warren Farha (proprietor of Eighth Day Books), back to Kansas, and then off to Oklahoma for a C. S. Lewis and Inkling Society conference (I took my daughter on this trip hoping she might someday want to peddle the Eighth Day!). I had a delightful time traveling with Warren, met many wonderful people at the events, and was very encouraged by the conference attendees’ commitment to Christian theology and cultural renewal.
On the home front, I presented at both March meetings of the Hall of Men: First on St Paisius Velichkovsky with an apologia for reading the Fathers and studying ancient languages and then on St John Chrysostom as a defender of the Hall of Men’s emphasis on heroes. These lectures, along with over 100 more, are currently being edited to be published in our premium digital library for Eighth Day Members. I also presented John Scotus Eriguena as an Eighth Day Ecumenist at our 9th annual Feast of St Patrick.
Thanks to Rod Dreher’s enthusiastic support of the Hall of Men, over the last several years we’ve had many requests from men to help them start Hall of Men chapters in their communities. I have finally begun putting pen to paper to make that happen. What began as a simple “how-to manual” quickly turned into a full publication defending the emphasis on men gathering to celebrate heroes (currently titled Renewing Culture through the Hall of Men: A History & Apology with a Guide to Starting a Local Chapter in Your Community). I’ll be posting the table of contents soon for you to see how it is shaping up.
I’ve also been spending a great deal of time reflecting on the mission, the work, and the future of Eighth Day Institute. As I said back in December, I believe we are entering a new phase of work. But as we move forward, it is vital that we all – especially myself, the EDI Board, and Eighth Day Members – understand why we exist and where we are going. I’ll also be posting more details about this in the next couple of weeks.
Finally, I’m a part of a great team that is developing a strategic plan for more consistent content on social media and our website. This includes our various blogs (Essays and Reflections, The Patristic Word, Eighth Day Views, and Eighth Day News), plus a new Fortnightly “Note from the Director” and a “Digital Lectern” which will publish AT LEAST four new digital archives each month (mostly new and old audio presentations from the Hall of Men and Sisters of Sophia).
Like I said, this spring has been a whirlwind. But it’s been good and fruitful. And I’m looking forward to the coming months as EDI continues to grow and develop.
P.S. Plans for our third annual Inklings Octoberfest and our eighth annual Eighth Day Symposium are also in the works, plus a couple new projects. You’ll also be hearing more about these.