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Andrea Langworthy's column: Sunday school

When Oprah Winfrey walked away from her television show to start her own network, I was miffed. Even with 70-plus stations in my cable package, her new one was not available.

“Not everyone can afford to upgrade to hundreds of stations,” I told my husband. “She’s forgotten about her loyal fans.” He suggested I call our provider and see if there was a deal.

There was. For a limited time, of course, but still, I decided to take advantage of it.

The problem, though, was that once I had it, I didn’t find any shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network that appealed to me. No afternoon talk show with the queen of daytime TV and the inspiring guests for which she became famous. And too many shows that weren’t interesting.

I gave up on OWN and watched shows on the other stations in the package I had purchased.

All that changed a month ago when I received an email from a woman named Kris Carr. She had come to my attention a few years ago when my hubby and I watched her DVD. “Crazy, Sexy Cancer” is the story of how Carr, living with the disease, changed her life and became healthy in spite of her tumors.

When I read Carr’s email, I was elated. She was to be part of Super Soul Sunday, a show on OWN. “We have to watch,” I said to my husband. “Remember how much we liked her documentary? And the emails I signed up for from her are inspiring and fun.”

So, that Sunday morning, at the allotted time, we pushed aside the newspapers and turned on channel 212. Oprah introduced the featured guest, Mark Nepo. I felt like I knew him already because a number of years ago I bought his book of daily meditations and every day I was taken by his openness about his walk with cancer and his lack of self pity.

The following year I made my way through “A Book of Awakening” a second time and a year later, I began it a third.

That Sunday, as Oprah and Nepo talked about life and illness, poetry, spirituality and love, my husband and I were taken with his brutal, yet sweet, honesty. Oprah announced she would interview him the following week and we vowed to be with them again. (

At the end of that first program, we watched Kris Carr’s segment. I said a silent thank you to her for letting me know about this super-extraordinary show.

We are regulars now. Last Sunday, Oprah interviewed Howard Schultz, the man who bought one small coffee shop named Starbuck’s and turned it into a way of life for many of us.

A man who follows the greatest commandment religiously. Treats his employees with the same respect and dignity with which he would like to be treated. Heads a company where 20-hour a week (or more) workers get health benefits. Where patrons are regarded as friends.

My husband and I have come away from Super Soul Sunday shows wanting to be better people.

And, once again, we sing Oprah’s praises. Mission accomplished, Ms. Winfrey. You have another winner on your hands.