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Friday, August 06, 2010


"T2T" for August 6, 2010

I write to Odyssey's members and friends "From Time to Time," and call these my "T2T" e-mails. Here is my latest T2T, for August 6, 2010:


Hopefully, August brings you some time for “holiday” and refreshment!

Here at Odyssey Networks, we have had a full summer:

• Earlier this week “Call on Faith,” our new “app” for smart phones, become available for Android (Droid) products and should be available for iPhone and Blackberry products within the next week or so. Keep checking at your app store.

• We produced two series of videos for the Odyssey website this summer: The first (three parts), “Prayer in the 21st Century,” was taped at the 60th anniversary conference of “Fellowship in Prayer,” an Odyssey new member. The second (five parts), “Faith at the Gulf,” focused on people of faith in Biloxi, Mississippi, responding to the Gulf oil spill. Part 4 of this series is on our website as I write this and Part 5 should be there next week. This second series has been featured on the “Huffington Post” online religion page. You can find most of these videos on You-Tube.

• Next week, our videographer, Torrey Townsend, who shot these first two video packages, heads to Haiti to cover the visit of Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York to this stricken country. While he is there he plans also to make contact with other people of faith involved in the Haiti earthquake response efforts – Episcopalians, Lutherans and Roman Catholics are already scheduled and other contacts are in process.

• OWN, the new Oprah Winfrey Network, has announced the purchase of “One Last Shot,” a documentary that Odyssey is producing. There is a nice piece on Oprah’s press page – our documentary is in good company with ones produced by Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn and Mariel Hemingway, among others. See http://www.oprah.com/pressroom/Julia-Roberts-Forest-Whitaker-Join-OWNs-Documentary-Film-Club.

• Speaking of material online, take a look at the ABC television 2010 “Vision & Values” series online at http://www.interfaithbroadcasting.com/vv.aspx . The final production on this schedule, “I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence,” is being produced by DIVA Communications (Debra Gonsher Vinik) for the New York Board of Rabbis with the help of a 2009 Odyssey production grant. A number of other members are also providing financial support for this important documentary.

• And, of course, we have recently sent you information on our first annual member gathering, this year offered in cooperation with the annual meeting of the National Council of Churches Communication Commission at the Hilton Hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland, September 27 – 30, 2010. Information and registration forms are available online at http://www.odysseynetworks.org/Members/MemberNews/tabid/394/Default.aspx . Please register soon and please, if you are coming, stay at the Hilton since the number of room nights that are sold affects our meeting room rates (more sleeping rooms – less cost for meeting rooms). Your attendance at the Monday and Wednesday banquet meals, provided for you by Odyssey, also helps control other costs (more folks at meals, less cost for meeting rooms).

• Our “A Million Minutes for Peace” website - http://amillionminutesforpeace.org/ - is up and running and taking pledges. Have you signed up yet? Also, check out the “Prayer Wall” on that site - http://amillionminutesforpeace.org/prayerwall/prayer-wall.shtml - nearly 20 video prayers are already online. It’s very early in the campaign, but, we have already surpassed our 2009 pledge numbers. And, more than 20 Odyssey members have become partners – thank you.

My recent member visits have included members and prospective members in New York City and Washington, D.C. Next week I head to Chicago for the biennial gathering of ELCA Communicators, “Follow Me: Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World” - http://www.elca.org/ELCA/Events/Follow-Me.aspx.

I look forward to seeing you in September in Silver Spring!


The Rev. Eric C. Shafer
Senior Vice President
Philanthropy, Faith Community Relations & Human Resources
Odyssey Networks
475 Riverside Drive, #530
New York, New York 10115
Voice - 212-870-1035
Fax - 212-870-1040
Cell - 267-222-0964