I have been a member of Facebook for the last year or so but Saturday I went crazy with the thing. I have been using it to catch up with various people and also for ministry reasons, keeping parishioners in touch with each other and also for the various podcasts.

On Saturday my cousin Jane from Panama found me on Facebook. I have not seen her in about 5 years and it was good to connect with her. But what happened after that is the stuff that legends are made of.

My mother’s family is rather large, she is one of 10 and it has grown since then, I believe at last count there are about 300 of us running around out there somewhere. Every so often we have a reunion where we catch up and meet up with old a new family members. The first one was 29 years ago in Florida and we have had two more since then, one in Colorado and one in Quincy. Another one is being planned for 2010 in Nashville, TN.

So when cousin Jane contacted me I looked at her friend list and 5 hours latter I have like 50 new friends all cousins and aunts and uncles, and my brother who I did not even know was on Facebook, subject for a long discussion with him…

All of this is to say how important family is. It is great to be part of a very large extended family and to catch up with people and to try and figure out how we are all related. It is great to see pictures of kids and to know that the next generation is well underway and the fact that once of my cousins is now a great grand father! My we have come a long way in all of this.

So this weekend was filled with catching up with family and friends on Facebook. This is no way replaces real actual meetings and conversation, but it sets the stage and will keep us connected to each other. There has been a lot of crap written about Facebook and the other sites around but I think it is worth the time to sign up, it takes all of about 5 minutes, and then start looking around you will be surprised who you might find. I have not only connected with family but friends from the old neighborhood, from college, from High School, from my days in the Army it has been great.

So what are you waiting for, go sign up: www.facebook.com after you do look me up and make me your friend.

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