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July 09, 2007

who is Paige Blair?

The Rev. Paige Blair is a friend of mine from Gathering the Next Generation (GTNG), the network for "Generation X" Episcopalians and their friends. As I worked in 2003 and 2004 with the Without Walls ministry team to put together the first U2charist, held on April 17, 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland, I posted periodically to the GTNG email list about the service. Paige remembered this when she decided in the summer of 2005 to do a U2charist, so she queried the list about other liturgies, and I sent her one for use in planning her own, as this PDF of with full headers of an email from her acknowledges. As this PDF with full headers of an email from her shows, Paige assures me that she has never claimed to have started the U2charist, and is as puzzled as I am as to how people got that idea.

She has worked tirelessly to promote the U2charist over the last two years. I think it's extraordinarily generous of her to do so; if she were seeking to promote herself rather than God's mission, she could certainly have found an original concept to promote, but instead she saw potential in something that someone else created and lent her own considerable and very fruitful efforts to fulfill that potential. She deserves a great deal of credit for that, and one of the frustrating things about stories that, against her wishes, present her as the originator of the U2charist is that it essentially frames her for plagiarism (which she hasn't done; she used my work with my blessing, and has never claimed it as her own) and obscures the incredibly important role she's played in the spread of the U2charist. That's a rotten way to treat a gifted priest who has given so much to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals, in my opinion, and I'm grateful to all of the folks who have helped to correct some very damaging mistakes in the media along those lines. Give the woman her props, I say!

July 9, 2007 in U2charist F.A.Q. | Permalink

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