It was the description that first captured my attention on Off the Page’s site. A space that publishes articles for “those on the margins of faith.” And hasn’t it been? Surely it has, at least for this frequenter of the faith-margins.
Today I celebrate what this online community and content have meant to me as both a writer and reader; and I lament those chapter-endings that I often have such a difficult time embracing.
In the last ten years, it has felt rare for me to find a site whose About section resonates so accurately with where I (and many of my friends) find ourselves in this season of our faith journeys. But the words and vision that carved out this space were unique. The “Skeptics Guide” alone has been enough to let a reader know that it is ok to both love God and to grapple, to crave traditions and to doubt unceasingly, to live in the tension and in a connected community all at the same time. I knew instantly, when I stumbled across Off the Page (far too late) last year that this was a place that celebrated the grey area as mysterious and holy.
And for someone often existing now in the grey areas of faith, that sentence alone comes as an inhale. I am thankful for the dreamers who first felt it in their bones—maybe even out of their frustrations and grapplings—to wonder, conceptualize, pray, and invest the hours that it takes to start something that makes room for people. I am thankful for the investors who kept the gears turning and the writers who have taught me so much and with whom I feel a deeply kindred bond. And I am thankful that there has been a place to which I could point people for stories and resources that might not pour salt into their theological wounds, but rather, might at the very least help them not feel so alone.
What a gift it has been to be a contributor and consumer here!
But, the tides do turn, as much as I loathe that sometimes. And this space, as we’ve known it, nears its end. I am saddened that good things don’t last forever. I am saddened that good things depend so often on money. I am saddened that a little piece of the internet that has felt a little more like home will one day soon not be what it has been.
And I am grieving one less place for marginal folks to question and to connect.
However, this is also what I trust: that people in the margins are some of the best at finding each other and etching out a place to belong together, that visions and spaces do not always cease with their funding (rather, they often change), and that resurrection people never have to be afraid of an end.
I’m wondering today, as I celebrate and lament for the last time through this platform, what the old evangelical Easter phrase of our upbringing (“Sunday’s coming!”) may mean for the movement that has been Off the Page. I suppose we must wait and see, but I hold in my heart that it will indeed be something.
Thank you, Off the Page. You have heartened my faith.