on blogging

There has been much discussion of late on the value (or otherwise) of blogs. So this is by way of reflection.

I was a reluctant blogger. Far too public a format for someone who is essentially ‘private’. But it’s a tool. A skill. A way of communicating beyond the bounds of church membership or geographic location. And thus a way to help build community and to engage in mission.

Mission? But surely only churchy types read this. That is mostly true, but all of us who blog have had other contacts, conversations that wouldn’t have happened without blogging: someone wanting a way into the church; someone tempted to walk out but looking for a last thread to hold onto.

All that I expected. What I didn’t expect was that I would enjoy it so much. And this is why:

    1. blogs connect me with people. those I wouldn’t otherwise meet, those who are geographically far away, those who have become friends: noticing when I’m ill, offering support, sharing their lives.
    2. blogs make me laugh. There is banter and chat, sharing of stories, and a willingness to take risks (and thus to get things wrong as well as right) publicly.
    3. blogs make me think. I become aware of things I might have missed otherwise, as people share topics that concern them. There’s space for sharing of expertise, time to ‘play’ with complex ideas. (my all time favourite conversation can be found here.)
    4. blogs give me hope for the church. There are a lot of passionate, intelligent people out there thinking about God. OK, sometimes they are cross. There’s plenty to be cross about in the church. But they are there, trying to make it work. Looking for new ways forward. Building relationship that show we are all in this together.

      Thanks to all of you who offer me so much through this peculiar public-private, open-intimate world.

      5 thoughts on “on blogging

      1. You see, the difference between you and me, Kimberly, is that you think and I do. Or rather, we both ‘do’ blogging but you actually ‘think’ about it too which I rarely do. And that would explain why your Blog is held up in Episcopal circles as being such good value.

        And now that you have made me think about blogging, I couldn’t agree more with your comments. My little flock, or rather those of them who read my blog, love being part of another community and although they don’t comment on the blog (which is a pity) they often send emails or speak to me about subjects which would probably not come up otherwise. I also love it when you meet a stranger who says: ‘Oh I read your blog’ and immediately you have a connection without having to go through that awkward new relationship phase.

        Probably the most important thing about churchy blogs are that they create a community that I can be a part of while sitting in my study alone. Because we all know how incredibly lonely ministry is and having a bunch of ‘friends’ out there to whom I can relate at all sorts of unsocial hours is a blessing.

        So thank you, Kimberly, for your excellent thought-provoking blog. The SEC should have you in charge of Mission – or at least on the I&C Board!

      2. I couldn’t agree more. I value immensely the contacts – and yes, the friends – I have made through my own blog, and I love it when an apparent stranger comes up to me in a big venue like the SECC and says “You’re Chris, aren’t you?” – because of course it’s not an anonymous pursuit, and anyone who knows their way around can find me, pink hair and all.

        Somehow those of us who do this stuff have to convince those who don’t really get it that this is engagement with the world out there, risks and all, and that if we all stay connected great things will come of it.

        Rant over for now. 🙂

      3. Thanks all. Ruth, your comment on community at odd hours is really important.

        (or in the case of Holy Week, community forged between printing side one and side two of the pew sheets…)

      4. Just to be boring, I totally agree too! I’ve met (virtually and in real life), prayed for, discussed with, laughed with, cried with, ranted with, all sorts of people through my silly little blog and reading theirs, life would be much poorer without it. I’m glad you saw the light eventually 😉

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