Announcing the Ribbit Room

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Rabbits have always only been incidental to the scope and purpose of our organization. After all, we weren’t the ones who named that fateful room where the Inklings regularly met in the Eagle & Child pub “The Rabbit Room”—we were merely the ones to name our organization after it. And while we at the Rabbit Room feel no particular antipathy toward the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed among us, we’ve acquired a certain reluctance over the years regarding the rabbitification of all our organization’s doings. Quite frankly, it’s become all “rabbit this” and “rabbit that.” Can you honestly say you’re not tired of encountering that joke that begins “A priest, a minister, and a rabbit walk into a bar…”? Well, believe us—we are. We’re tired of that joke.

In addition, as we’ve sought to understand the kind of messaging and metaphor which most compels Generation Z to join in the work of a nonprofit like the Rabbit Room, one resounding lesson has reared its bunny ears time and again: they don’t like rabbits. Why? We’re not sure. But one thing we do know: they like frogs.

Our organization’s new logo

Now, you may react with the same skepticism and distaste as we did at first: Frogs!? Are frogs really a step forward from rabbits? And we’re here to say: absolutely they are. In fact, they’re an enormous leap forward. But in order to understand this paradigmatic shift, it’s crucial to be reminded of what an unsung-yet-influential role frogs have already played in the life of the Rabbit Room.

The Rabbit Room team has decided to take the biggest leap yet in our young organization's history—the leap from the cabbage patch to the lily pond.

The Ribbit Room

While it may not be immediately obvious to you, dear reader, the amphibians among us have contributed significantly to the growing body of literature and art which constitutes the Rabbit Room canon. In Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, for instance, we’re presented with Toad, a character whose thirst for adventure embodies our organization’s core conviction that both leaving home and returning home are indispensable facets of narrative storytelling as well as humanity’s spiritual journey. Chris Wheeler summed it up quite well in his 2019 blog post: “Say what you will about Toad (and there is plenty to be said), but his motivations begin and end with longing—the longing for adventure and the longing to return home after said adventures.”

Or take the most famous green, slippery friend among us: Kermit himself. Given the search for a figure emblematic of such values as an unwavering commitment to collaboration in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances; love of theater and storytelling; and, perhaps most of all, legendary songwriting as glimpsed in his culture-defining “Rainbow Connection;” who could possibly find fault with the Rabbit Room’s choice to finally associate itself with such an upstanding figure as Mr. the Frog rather than the very paragon of frivolity and sabotage, Bugs Bunny?

Click to listen.

Those who have been following the Rabbit Room’s work closely will surely find themselves remembering in this moment the legendary performance of “Rainbow Connection” by Rabbit Room collaborator Jeffrey Overstreet at Hutchmoot in 2013. The wisdom of frogs has long been with us.

If the examples above are not enough to win you over to our side of the pond, consider the parable of abiding commitment to relationship that is the Frog and Toad series; the old fantasy trope that when a princess kisses a frog, the frog becomes a prince, revealing to her the authenticity of her true love (a highly honoring portrait of the amphibian according to the most accomplished of literary critics); or even, on a more lighthearted note, the playful dance of Warner Brothers’ Michigan J. Frog—an enduring icon of classic cinema (and, we might add, a noteworthy early example of frog employment in the entertainment business).

With all of these considerations in mind, the Rabbit Room team has decided to make the biggest leap yet in our young organization’s history—the leap from the cabbage patch to the lily pond. In an effort to more equitably represent all of God’s creatures, we are changing our name from The Rabbit Room to The Ribbit Room. Who knew that a single vowel could make such a world of difference?

In celebration of this long-overdue shift, we will be announcing over the course of this year several new offerings from The Ribbit Room. For instance, we will be launching the Ribbit Room Lilypadcast Network, a new arts conference aptly titled Toadmoot, and the upcoming Andrew Peterson album, Metamorphosis Letters, Volume II.

But we are perhaps most excited to share with you the first book to be published by Ribbit Room Press: Every Amphibian Holy, a book of new liturgies from Douglas McKelvey, specially written to support the life and faith of frogs. Examples include “A Liturgy for Beholding the Lilypads of the Pond,” “A Liturgy for the Transition from Water to Air,” and “A Liturgy for when Being Green is No Longer Easy.”

What an exciting transition this will be! We can’t wait to have you along with us on this journey from rabbit to frog. Stay tuned for more pond-side announcements as we leap ahead and metamorphose into an entirely new phase of this organization.

Sincerely,

Drew Miller
Content Developer
The Ribbit Room


22 Comments

  1. Stefanie Peters

    @stefanie

    We should also mention Aristophanes’s comedy The Frogs, for its exploration of the value of poetry. Another reason for a worthy name change.

  2. Gllen

    Well.
    This is way too much for me! Truly! I cannot keep up to it all…
    An entire elusive shift of paradigms. Croak! My world is waaaaaay too AWOL right now!
    There is no way this can be true…
    ———-

  3. Avery N

    I’m part of Generation Z, and reading this article made me panic. Trust me, Toad from The Wind in the Willows is a horrible role model for new drivers! 😉

  4. Pauly Heller

    What fun! I especially look forward to meditating on my own life’s transitions from water to air as it’s been a tough one for me. 

  5. Anton

    Oh man, are you serious?  You got us good!
    Well played Drew Miller.
    I was panicking how I was going to inform my wife.
    Clued in finally at 

    But we are perhaps most excited to share with you the first book to be published by Ribbit Room Press: Every Amphibian Holy, a book of new liturgies from Douglas McKelvey

    I think I need to go read a liturgy to deal with the range of emotions I just felt.
    I almost went to go look for Andrew Peterson’s Metamorphosis volume 1.
    Man…that was so good.
     

  6. Kathleen Mahoney

    Oh My. I love rabbits, and I shall miss rabbits terribly. But you know what? I can leap on this lily pad. Here’s to God’s blessing as we ribbit along!
     

  7. JANET MCLENDON

    Brilliant.  I’ve never been so happily pranked.  I was nodding along until Every Amphibian Holy.  But you really do need that liturgy for beholding…I think you could write a whole set of liturgies for beholding many beautiful things.  

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