I write for a magazine called eChurch active (www.echurchactive.net) and have written various bits of poetry and prose for special events and one off magazines. I am still very much clambering up a steep learning curve on this, but it is fun and gets the old creative juices going.
When i get around to setting up my website i will post my articles there, but for now here is my latest submission - before publication no less - for 'McCollum's musings'
I am a blogger!
This is very new and very exciting for me. I have a weblog page which contains my thoughts and grumbles and perhaps even a few profound thoughts.
It was the result of a friend called Steve www.svfoster.blogspot.com/ recommending to me the Holy Joes weblog http://holyjoes.blogspot.com/ and inviting me to become a part of this particular online community. I don’t visit it or update it very much, I haven’t quite decided what I should be doing with it or whether it should have some kind of focus or whether it is the equivalent of an online diary or what. But I am a blogger.
For those of you who are unaware of the blogging phenomenon I am not going to give a brief history of it because I don’t know what the history of it is. I do know, though, that there are thousands of people who now post their own thoughts on the net. A blog is like an ‘online journal’ and lots of people use their blog to express their thoughts in a public forum – I say public, but I reckon I could count the number of people who have visited my site on the fingers of one hand…
There are also some very good and informative blogs around too! Maggi Dawn has a blog which is considering ‘emerging church’ and contains plenty of food for thought. If you have no idea what emerging church is, then you might want to check it out. http://maggidawn.blogspot.com/ Maggi also recently linked to a blog that I had to include just because of the name – though having looked at the blog it merits inclusion due to its content http://bigbulkyanglican.blogspot.com/.
Some of my best thoughts for sermons are from the blog of Sarah Dylan Breuer, a theologian and recently accepted ‘postulant’ (Ordinand) in the Episcopal Church of the USA . It is interesting reading with lots of links to other blogs and can be found at www.sarahlaughed.net/lectionary-blog.html. I often find that ideas Sarah puts forward crop up in my talks and sermons not because I’m short of ideas but because hers are so good.
But this is not meant to just be a blog advert – so you might want to know why I am writing about them. It is not to publicise my own digital waffle – you get quite enough of that already from eChurch Active. It is because so many people moan about the internet as a negative thing – yes we all get spam and Viagra adverts and dodgy weblinks, there are scams galore and a lot more information than there is wisdom. But every now and then we are reminded that this massive network of computers is also a massive network of people on computers.
There is still a lot of thinking that needs doing about the internet and its meaning for Christians. There is still an awful lot of theological reflection to be done just about how we bring meaning to out place on the internet. For many of us the net is just part of everyday life, and we use it for interest, for shopping, for research – but for some it is an essential part of their lives, and offers some kind of community in a fragmented world.
I don’t want to go into a great deal of thought about the good and bad of internet usage, or the difficulties of regulation or censorship. I just want to commend something that seems to me to be potentially a good thing – blogging is often about ‘thinking out loud’, it is a creative act, it is something through which people seek to connect to other people. Like all things ‘net’ it can be good, it can be bad, it can be profound, it can be trivial. It can be fun too, though!