SNAG conference Memphis 07


Anglicans are Episcopalians, at least in the U.S. And Episcopalians
are pretty much a “dissenting” group ourselves. I won’t bore you with
church history, but suffice to say we’ve made more than a few waves
in the Anglican Communion in the last few years, particularly in our
stance on the ordination of women and GLBT folks. The Episcopal
Church has the only woman primate and the only openly gay bishop in
the world (and the ripples are still spreading outward from that
one). Anglicans also claim in our ranks Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who
has been a great force for equality and reconciliation in South
Africa. This is not your grandparent’s Anglican church. :slight_smile:

I have no involvement with SNAG and I don’t know why SNAG chose to
offer a Christian blessing of the tools. But if you’re going to do
such a thing, an Anglican is a pretty good bet. We’re the “via
media” – the middle way between Protestant and Catholic. Besides, we
really know how to put on a show – anyone catch the installment of
our new Presiding Bishop at the National Cathedral earlier this year?
Rainbow vestments, Native American “smudging” incorporated into the
ceremony, and all the traditional pomp you could ask for.

Disclaimer: I’m a totally interested party. I’ve been accepted into
the ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and
will start seminary in the fall, so I’m anticipating the day when I’m
the one offering the blessing. :slight_smile: And I can think of nothing I’d
like better than to bless the work of the people I’ve known in this
industry though the years, and who have been so generous with their
knowledge and so kind to a frequently clueless journalist. Although
if you’d rather have a Buddhist, I know a nice Shin priest who’d be
happy to do it, and I’ll just come and hold the tools.


I'm really curious as to how the SNAG Board came up with the idea
of an Anglican "Blessing of the Tools." Is it some kind of The whole
thing is just downright weird. 

I don’t believe it was the SNAG Board. If my understanding of how
SNAG conferences work, it was the co-chairs of the conference and/or
their team of volunteers who came up with the blessing.

I am kind of surprised by the strong negative reactions on Orchid
against the blessing. I don’t expect to attend SNAG this year, but if
I did, I wouldn’t have a problem attending the blessing. It would
certainly be cooler if it were somehow co- or multi- officiated by
members of different groups.

But I think the basic concept of the tool blessing is a cool one. A
fun and different way to start the conference.


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

My husband says that this discussion is an example of
counter-antidisestablishmentarianism. And you don’t see those every


I have been following this thread with much interest. I guess I have
come to think that after all the cussings my tools get, any blessing
by anyone from any path will surely be of help. The question now is
which tool is most in need? Yes, yes, yes! The computer mouse!

Bill Churlik


The short answer to your question is: The SNAG Board did not come up
with this idea and they don’t micro-manage at that level. The
conference content, including evening themes, is chosen by the local
host and co-chairs, and we always try to give them as much latitude
as possible. The flavor of each conference is strongly influenced by
the local people. In Memphis, this is the Metal Museum, Jim Wallace
(Wally) and Charles Ferryman. They chose it because it’s a
longstanding blacksmithing tradition and b/c it was well received at
a past ABANA conference. It’s interesting to me that this has
generated so much heat on Orchid. I suppose anything with religious
undertones or overtones always does.

Dana Singer
SNAG Executive Director

Hello Orchidians,

I have to weigh in on this discussion re a blessing of tools.
Nothing to be bent up over. Regardless of the choice of spiritual
officiant, the blessing of an object, animal, abode, person, etc. is
simply a nice thing. No obligations involved. I take my pets to a
blessing of companion animals and I don’t care if it’s a priest,
rabbi, shaman, minister, or simply a kind person who invokes the
blessing. It’s a reflection of my own caring, not a religion.

Judy in Kansas, who wonders if tools can be blessed from a remote

Whoever came up with it, it’s a poor idea. Some will always be
certain to be offended, no matter the form, of any such invocation.
Religion (or lack of) has no place in a forum such as SNAG’s. What
is the positive aspect of including such a potentially divisive act?
Some folks are VERY sensitive to such things, why insuly ANYONE?
Seems silly.


Let There Be Peace, please.

No one intended to affront, or slight anyone. We here on Orchid have
become a rather unique and cohesive group.

I always respond to a sneeze with an automatic “Bless You,” the
sneezer may not know me at all, nor know just which Bless You is
intended. I will accept any Blessing sent my way, sure can do no


who wonders if tools can be blessed from a remote location. 

Absolutely, prayer is beyond space and time.

Richard Hart

Knowing how hard Mr Jim Wallace and Mr Charles Freeman must be
working on the SNAG conference, you have already been blessed. It
bothers me to see so much energy wasted on this subject. I plan on
attending the conference, I also plan on having my “tool” blessed. I
like the Idea. I can use all the help I can get.

HOWEVER…anyone who finds their tool accidentally bless or in the
vicinity of the blessing can have their tool “UN-Blessed” by me.

For a small fee I will do the following: I will take your tool to the
Rendezvous Bar-B-Q in the alley behind the Peabody Hotel and smoother
it in hot sauce. Then I will proceed to the Peabody Hotel Lobby and
rub it on the belly of the youngest duckling found in their famous
lobby fountain. I will then proceed to take your tool to a minimum of
13 killer blues clubs on Beale St. and dip it into my ice cold beer.
In a Tom Waits voice, I will talk to your tool about the evils of
slide guitar playing and distorted harmonica techniques. we will then
go down to the river after last call and have a slide guitar and
harmonica lesson. In the morning we will go to Graceland where I will
baptize your tool in Elvis’s toilet. you will be able to pick up your
tool at the SUN studio, the birthplace of rock and roll. I will be
asleep on the bench out front, sleeping off the hangover paid for by
the uptight metalsmiths that made such a big deal out of a blessing
by an Anglican Priest.

I do have ‘faith’ that you will be there for me…I’m here for

wayne werner
baltimojo md., home of the old kirk stieff silver co, where my old
hallmarking hammer came from, the one that will go to memphis to be
’blessed’ and ‘unblessed’ all in the same weekend…

Hello everyone

Just wanted to let everyone know that in India we have a day where
all the Tools in the entire Factory including the tools that have
been retired are cleaned and laid out in the center of the factory
and most of the heavy equipment is cleaned and washed and the Priest
comes to the shop floor and there is a POOJA prayer performed with
flowers and red dust sprinkled and bless the tools for providing
everybody from the owner to the security guard.

Kenneth Singh

Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Muslims & non believers all show up to see
this largely Hindu ceremony which has become non religious as

Dear Mr. Werner,

I will then proceed to take your tool to a minimum of 13 killer
blues clubs on Beale St. and dip it into my ice cold beer. >...In
the morning we will go to Graceland where I will baptize your tool
in Elvis's toilet. 

Now that is a ritual I can really go for! Where do I sign up? I am
free Friday night, who’s with me? can I get an Hallelujah! Amen! ;~D

Nanz Aalund

Terri ref: tools blessing

I just want to add that we should be concerned about the message
rather than the messenger or the language.

We will have half of the worlds problem solved.

Do you wash your car or clean your fridge? Now it is time to clean
your tools thank & respect them for helping providing you the funds
to keep these running. Yes in a passive way because it is you who
uses your brain muscle and knowledge which we mortals feel is a gift
from an Eternal Source.

At Hospitals and in Jails I have seen all types of non-believers
jamming the chapels or temples in many cultures to pray & they never
ask whose house of worship they are standing. Yet we ridicule when we
feel we do not need all this.

For gods sake even an army cleans shines and thanks its weapons in
every country and religions. But for a few we have to provide
multi-lingual all denominations Chaplains. I guess the world is full
of ignorant.

But it is up to us to do what is right. I am happy to hear that Snag
is having this tool blessing.

Kenneth Singh
46 jewelry Supply

How dare anybody make fun of Elvis, again it is not the messenger it
is the message.