When I think about that fact that I am overseeing a work that includes 40+ young(ish) Jesuits my excitement is mixed with just a bit of apprehension. Ron Swanson understands…
From the time of it’s creation, TJP has sought to pay close attention to a God that is already at work in all of our lives. We take our lead from the Spiritual Exercises – speaking to you, to each other and to God “as one friend speaks to another.” Proofs about God tend to bore us, we’d rather let you experience God in your own life. TJP gives you a digital model to demonstrate how we live as “contemplatives in action” online. It’s a style that involves noticing the crucial movements and desires of our lives, whether its in a message from Pope Francis or a song by Ke$ha.
If you follow TJP you might’ve noticed that we like to put interviews with great Catholic writers like Dana Gioia in the same day that we look at Justin Bieber.1 We like a serious analysis of the Pope’s writings just as much as we like to point out it’s connections to Ren and Stimpy on Facebook. We mix it up with all sorts of cultural trends and news events. The juxtaposition can lead to a bit of shock.
If you hear us out and follow TJP enough, I think you’ll find that it all fits together.
It’s all right there in our mission statement: “We focus on both sacred and secular issues, and everything in between, because we’re convinced that God does too.”
TJP is all about experimenting with the new digital environment and as we start our 3rd year we’ll continue to experiment. One of my goals is to channel the creative energies of our team into new ways of interacting with our growing base of readers/followers/fans. We gain so much from these interactions. While we’ve seen some great conversations, I think we expected too much from the combox and we need some channels beyond the combox. So let’s try something new. I’ll be starting a new column as the Editor-in-Chief. I’ll be posting and responding to questions and comments from readers/fans and followers on TJP. If you want to contact me, please do. I welcome your questions and comments.2 This year I’m focusing on increasing interaction and through that interaction I hope to widen our distribution.
We’ve assembled a team to jump into the deep end of blogosphere over on patheos.com and strike up conversations with the folks there and beyond. Check out the newly launched TJP on Patheos. And while the internet is our normal stomping ground, we’ll be going a little retro this March as TJP publishes a book.
TJP will continue to find and develop new Jesuit contributors and maintain the standards you’ve come to expect. But if we really are going to widen our distribution, we’ll need your help. We generate lots of content, but we need you to share it and repackage it. To aid that we’re moving the social buttons around on the site and starting the early phases of a complete TJP redesign. Take our content and digest it. Chew on it and add your thoughts, your corrections, your additions and then post it wherever you hang out. When it’s just TJP sharing our stuff, it only goes so far. It’s our fans and readers that drive the real traffic. People pay attention when “one friend speaks to another.”
Cover image via Shutterstock
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- I feel like I owe Dana Gioia and the Biebs an apology for putting them both in the same sentence. Mea Culpa! ↩
- Fair warning, I love dialogue. I loath trolls ↩