Celebrity Blogger Week: David Sibley

David Sibley holds the distinction of being the youngest Celebrity Blogger. Again. But what he lacks in chronological age he makes up for in shoe size. Since he’s also the tallest Celebrity Blogger.

Having recently moved from Brooklyn to Long Island, David did forego his status as our hippest Celebrity Blogger. But fear not. In a pinch, he still knows where to find organic, free-range, artisanal cheese.

The Rev. David Sibley

The Rev. David Sibley is in the middle of his seventh year as a southern transplant into the northeast, where he now lives on Long Island and serves as Rector of Christ Church in Manhasset, New York. Raised right in the middle of South Carolina, David studied and did research as a chemist before being whisked away to seminary in New York City. When he’s not in church, David enjoys travel, hiking and camping, all things food and music related, and is a sports fanatic – with his teams of choice in baseball (Chicago Cubs), college football (South Carolina Gamecocks), and soccer (Liverpool FC) being minor obsessions. When the ideas are forthcoming, he’s been known to blog at Feeding on Manna, and holds forth much more often with his partners in crime on Twitter at @davidsibley.

What do you most love about the extraordinary honor of being a Celebrity Blogger (besides global adulation)?
By far the best part of being a Celebrity Blogger is hearing from Lent Madness fans about their own connections to a saint, and the impact that saint and their witness have made in their lives. Last year, an extraordinary amount of people connected to Charles Wesley – and the connections were everything from his hymns, to his practice of field preaching, to his deep commitment to his principles – and the stories were fantastic. It’s a reminder that a saint that one person may regard as “mere history” may be the source of another person’s vibrant and living faith. And that’s really cool.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve learned about one of your saints and how does this inspire your faith?
Thecla wins this one hands down. According to legend, Thecla, in the face of her immanent death and still desiring to be baptized, dove into a pool of ravenous seals and baptized herself. I had no idea that seals were even a thing in the ancient Mediterranean world! For me, Thecla is an example of what it means to follow Jesus without counting the cost – even to her own life. If I could have even a portion of her enthusiasm and fervor – a fraction of her desire to follow after Jesus – I would count myself richly blessed.

Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead and why?
Are there sports I could be watching, instead? I mean, like a curling match, or soccer, or some high school team on local access unnamedcable? I’d go with that first. When forced to choose, I think I’d probably have to go with The Walking Dead. Plot-wise, it felt like Downton Abbey jumped the shark a couple seasons ago when one of the characters magically and unexpectedly got up and walked after months and months of suffering from a war injury. At least with The Walking Dead, the premise of zombies was implausible from the very beginning, and was outright and in your face about it. I appreciate that kind of swagger and bravado: “Yep, there’s zombies, no, we don’t care what you think about it.”

Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to in the season of Lent?
I really love sports and gamesmanship, so the spectator sport of watching the annual clergy social media game of one upsmanship around who worked hardest during Holy Week. It always starts off pretty tame, but eventually, you’d think some of us clergy picture the song “Sixteen Tons” playing in the background as we march off to church to…wash feet.

More seriously, I appreciate Lent as a time to get back to what is important, most core, most meaningful in the life of discipleship. I tend to take lots of things on to myself during the year, so Lent becomes a good time to put some of them aside, and rededicate myself to the core pieces of the life of discipleship: prayer, study, and service. I look forward to that every year, and this Lent is no exception.

SEC NOTE: Apparently David won the U.S. Open last year. We’re stumped as to why this fact didn’t make it into his official Lent Madness bio.

20 Comments to "Celebrity Blogger Week: David Sibley"

  1. Lyn Sims's Gravatar Lyn Sims
    February 14, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Loved this entry, but…can he get an editor? So many misspelled words!

    I particularly loved the section about clergy and Holy Week. And now I’ll be watching our Rector, Lay Pastoral Leader and Deacon humming “Sixteen Tons”

    • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
      February 14, 2015 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      He left a “t” off of “that” and used “there’s” instead of “there are”. The first is a spelling mistake and the second a grammar mistake. Both are quite understandable given the excitement of being interviewed by the SEC.

      • Lyn Sims's Gravatar Lyn Sims
        February 14, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

        Can’t get “Sixteen Tons” out of your mind, can you?

      • Candace Coggins's Gravatar Candace Coggins
        February 14, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

        Apparently Jane C. is serving as the editor. I would caution however, that a single misspelled word (omitted letter) is not the “many” misspelled words she references. After all…”a single Robin doth not a Spring make.”

        • Alec clement's Gravatar Alec clement
          February 14, 2015 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

          For Candace….I”ll take the Robin AND the Spring pls!!!

        • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
          February 14, 2015 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

          No, no! I’m with David. I just wanted to count the many errors to which Lyn referred. If you read the entire post you will know I find them totally excusable. It was Lyn who noted there were “so many misspelled words.” I would normally gloss over them but felt the need to defend David Sibley. We should not toy with our celebrity bloggers’ psyches, especially before the competition has even begun.

          • Candace Coggins's Gravatar Candace Coggins
            February 14, 2015 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

            Mea culpa Jane C. You’re quite right. I should have referenced Lyn in my response.
            I confused the fact that your comments were in response to her message. And “yes”
            you were a mighty cheerleader in your own right. My apologies. Candace

  2. Alec clement's Gravatar Alec clement
    February 14, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    There is a St Thecla parish locally….always wondered who she was..now I know

  3. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    February 14, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Sixteen tons, an whaduh y’all geyut? Anuthuh day olduh an’ deepuh in deyut! (I don’t know if he has a Southern accent, but I’m hoping!)

    • j's Gravatar j
      February 14, 2015 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Well St. Peter don’t ya call me cuz I cain’t go, I owe my soul to the company sto!

      • Lyn Sims's Gravatar Lyn Sims
        February 16, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

        Close enough. Hey, we southerners have plenty of Episcopalian zeal. We just like to put our own verbal stamp on it.

        “nothier daye oldah and deepah in dept”

    • Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
      February 14, 2015 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, it was sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford, born in Bristol, Tennessee.
      Being a Canadian, I’m not an expert on regional US accents.

  4. Candace Coggins's Gravatar Candace Coggins
    February 14, 2015 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Reverend Sibley,
    Like you, my husband and I are transplants, only we went from NYC to SC. Christ Church is lucky to have you. Your blog is so well written and evocative. Themes like rededication and discipleship resonated with me. I’m humbled to think of the many times I read about Lent week nominations focusing on the odd and “quirky” factoids rather than the passion and process of living a life through Christ. Hearty congratulations as a much-appreciated Celebrity Blogger!
    Candace (Coggins) All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island, SC

  5. Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
    February 14, 2015 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

    “the spectator sport of watching the annual clergy social media game of one upsmanship around who worked hardest during Holy Week.” Love it! I’ve thought this but never expected to see a member of the clergy actually put it in writing.

  6. j's Gravatar j
    February 14, 2015 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Anna Scott: You know what they say about men with big feet.
    William: No, I don’t, actually. What’s that?
    Anna Scott: Big feet… large shoes.

    Noting Hill, 1999

  7. Dr. DIx's Gravatar Dr. DIx
    February 14, 2015 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great group of bloggers. I do wish I recognized that at least one was more than 45 y/o and one lives in the southeastern U.S. (No, KY does not count. I grew up there. It’s a border state as my southern friends always remind me at Derby Parties.). Maybe we aren’t considered capable of blogging since we can’t drive between stalled cars on hills in 2 inches of uncleared snow and ice. Seriously, though, give the suggestion some consideration next year. Oh, and regarding the southern accent, it’s hard to find even among natives. But many Episcopalians I know are from the north or the west. And a rapidly increasing number are from other countries. Working In a church with Spanish speakers and English speakers from Africa, the Caribbean, South Africa, etc. is fun but challenging. Peace –

  8. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    February 14, 2015 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Concerning how Downton Abbey “jumped the shark”….I’ve always had a love/hate thing with that show. The story lines are frequently illogical and the characters often act like complete morons, but there’s always a plot hook somewhere in that mess that makes me want to keep watching, to see what happens next. And, of course, the Ol’ Dowager makes it worth sitting through the rest of it. As for Holy Week, my wife (as a deacon) and myself (as a verger) would more than qualify for the oneupmanship games. But this year, in the Fourth Week of Lent, we are moving to Chicago. Come Holy Week (for this year, anyway), we are going to be sitting in the pews, responsible for nothing….AAHHH! Sweet!

    • Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
      February 14, 2015 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Re Downton Abbey…..don’t many of us find our story lines illogical …and as for me I probably act the complete moron a good portion of the time…..zombies a’int cool

      • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
        February 14, 2015 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

        It’s true that we all have our episodes of moronic behavior. And yes, our own story lines can be illogical, but they are still believable. One of the marks of good fiction is that, whether it is period drama or horror or whatever, it’s believable. And too often DA is hard to believe.

  9. Jean Abbe's Gravatar Jean Abbe
    February 14, 2015 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I love Thecla too. When some doctors were jealous because her cures worked so much better than theirs, and sought to destroy her powers by hiring some youths to destroy her virginity, she thwarted them by sealing herself inside a mountain. Of course, she died, but died a virgin.

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