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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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What's the skinny on the Alpha Course stuff?

  • To: Louie Crew <>
  • Subject: What's the skinny on the Alpha Course stuff?
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 22:02:03 -0400

> What's the skinny on the Alpha Course stuff? I'm suspicious.
I dislike their materials for the same reason that I dislike comic book
versions of Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream.

Billy Tully, whom I respect very much, got a lesbian to use the materials
in a course at St. Bart's in Manhattan, and it has been quite successful
in making a start to redress the wide-spread biblical illiteracy of most
Episcopalians.   I assume she does not use the blatantly homophobic
portions of the original materials from Britain.
We need strong adult education in TEC, and not just as a Lenten
punishment. But most adults balk at sermons that go over 15 minutes; fat
chance of getting them to attend even a half hour of good bible study, and
how much can you really hope to accomplish in half an hour.

In my Bible As Literature classes at Rutgers (a 2 semester sequence) I
assign at least 3 hours of work outside class for every hour in it.   The
classes meet twice a week for 1.5 hours for the full 2 semesters.   Do the
math to see how many 15-minute sermons that equals, and discount the 10
minutes of the sermon that have nothing to do with the bible.
The creators of Alpha are addressing a real need, but insult the
intelligence of many, many Episcopalians.

Jack Spong believes that most clergy keep their seminary education close to
their chest, not daring to let the laity know the best of what is being
thought in our time, lest they stir up trouble.  He's probably right.
Pabulum works like Valium, even when a bright parishioner hits a life
crisis.   And Valium helps one get through the night with minimal

Probably it is a mistake to put all the teaching responsibility on the
clergy anyway.  In many Episcopal congregations, over half of the adults
have at least a Master's degree.   Part of every Christian's formation
should be the expectation that one will engage the mind in matters of faith.

The Coptics registered for my tough courses in great numbers, the way 
way that clever students from abroad sometime work our system to improve
their grade point average by registering for introductory courses in their
native language.

Coptics have rarely been interested in evangelism, and they have known that
their faith will die unless the majority of members know it well and
understand it.   Egypt now restricts their religious instruction, realizing
how powerful it is.

Meanwhile, Episcopalians feel they have sacrificed to the limit by missing
soccer or tennis practice, and be damned if they are going to let the filthy
Presbyterians beat them to the first sitting for lunch at the Country Club.


Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1068
http://queereye4lectionary.blogspot.com/  Queer Eye for the Lectionary

  Now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.