Frequent readers of the blog will know that I have an inordinate affection for word clouds and especially for wordle.net, which make producing word clouds easy. I have used word cloud in board and vestry meetings. I make a regular practice of turning sermons into word clouds. In both cases, the results are more or less predictable; that is, the benefit is less the revelation of the words - which tend to be clear themes of the lessons, for example - but more the visual display of those themes. The word cloud is an artistic medium.
Last night, however, I decided to test Wordle's power in a less predictable exercise. So I entered every sermon from my first year at St. Francis House and pushed the "create" button. While the results are not, perhaps, a whole lot less predictable than those from a given Sunday's homily, I do think the they are insightful in a slightly different way. Without further ado, then, here it is: my sermon Wordle from my first year at St. Francis House.