Episcopalians, meet Ubuntu

It’s no secret I have little patience for the Episcopal Church of late, so I wasn’t looking out for the theme of the 2009 General Convention. The Topmost Apple, an Episcopalian blogger I follow, presumably has more patience for the Episcopal Church, but little regard for the theme, which is “Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me.”

These days, ubuntu — a Xhosa and Swahili philosophical concept of reflexive humanism — is better known outside southern Africa as the namesake for my favorite version of Linux. Not opportunistic branding that, but an understanding of the mutually upbuilding and worth-identifying relationships that brings so many people to make a gift of their work.

General Convention logo 2009

Oh, and while I’m at it: I hate the logo chosen to depict ubuntu. Looks like a throw pillow. The logo for Ubuntu Linux is at least as relevant and more evocative.  Oh, and the subtitle sounds ripped fresh from the Beatles song “Come Together.”  How, ugh, hip.

Two lost opportunities, I think.

For more about the General Convention, see this article in Episcopal Life Online.

Published by

Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

5 thoughts on “Episcopalians, meet Ubuntu”

  1. Isn’t the logo simply their interpretation of what ‘ubuntu’ means? I always thought it was more like ‘I am because of you and you are because of me’, but I don’t know where I got that from.

    But, hey, what’s wrong with a Beatles sub-title? :-)

  2. All fair points. It’s hard — even misleading and dangerous — to visualize intangible realities. (Iconoclastic controversy anyone?) Funny, though, that the Ubuntu Linux logo looks like three people hugging while the General Convention logo doesn’t depict anything particularly human.

    Except. It does evoke spermatozoa penetrating an ovum. And that subhead! Oh, you’d think the Episcopal Church — given its current problems — would step away from a slogan that suggests sexual intercourse. Subtext of unresolved conflict much?

  3. Oh, you’d think the Episcopal Church — given its current problems — would step away from a slogan that suggests sexual intercourse. Subtext of unresolved conflict much?

    Lol! That, or someone there has a wicked sense of humour!

  4. Hi

    I was an Episcopalian in a previous life. Typically UUs do not have anything good to say about them. Based on my experience with a very small sample, some of them are really neat people, walking on an authentic path.

    Best wishes

    Dudley Jones
    jonesdudley@hotmail.com

    ps good luck with all the Linux stuff. I now work in a Microsoft environment, but in the old days we had Sun Solaris – it worked like a rock.

  5. I don’t think the assessment that “UUs do not have anything good to say about” Episcopalians is true. If anything, it — perhaps even more than the UCC — has been an important port to mainline Christianity.

    But the institutional politics of the US Episcopal Church has, in the last few years, shown that the hierarchy is willing to compromise with anyone over anything. The gays are firmly lodged in the bus tires, and I refuse to participate in anything like that. Not so bad for me; quite a loss for my formerly Episcopalian husband.

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