Monday, April 6, 2009

Amazing! - Blog Friends To Real Life Friends

I once believed that an online group of folks who had never met could not be a community, but I have changed my mind. We have, indeed, formed communities on the internet. I may never meet some of the people with whom I have established a bond online, but they are my friends, nonetheless. Something wonderful is happening on the intertubes, an amazing phenomenon.

Below are the names of folks whom I have met in real life through blogs that have to do, at least partly, with faith and religion.

Allen
Allie
Ann Fontaine
Caminante
Doug Blanchard
Doug C
Dan
Dennis
Doorman-Priest
Doug
Eileen
Elizabeth
Erika
Fran
IT
Göran
Holy Foolishness
Joan
JohnnyB
Kirstin
Klady
MadPriest
Margaret
Mark Harris
Paul
Catherine A.
Paul (A.)
PJ
Pseudopiskie
Reverend Boy
Saintly Ramblings
Terry (Fr. Jake, Fr. T)
Pat Klemme
Terry (Queer for Christ)
Themethatisme
Tobias Haller

The list does not include spouses, partners, and beloveds. And it does not include New Orleans bloggers, political bloggers, and others outside our group of religious freaks.

If I've left off anyone whom I've met, or, if you have a blog, and I haven't linked to it, let me know, and I'll make corrections.

UPDATE: Ginny S.

37 comments:

  1. I wished we had more time to actually talk when we met. Hope we can try again next time you are in NYC.

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  2. I've been thinking how we've all become "church" much more than my physical church community, where I only joke with a few people, know little about the lives of most, and where we therefore don't hold each other in prayer as much as our religious blog church does.

    What an amazing way for the Spirit to create new ways of being church!

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  3. Erika is right, we know more about each other than we often do of people we pass the peace with or chat with at coffee your. And we uphold each other in prayer.

    It is grace, the more so because I don't think any of us expected this.

    Paul the BB

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  4. Dan, I know. Those who were at different tables didn't have much of a chance to visit.

    Erika and Paul, you are right. My blog community surely knows more about me than many in my church. And, for me, it was entirely unexpected.

    But my blog community reinforced for me that I do need my local church, too. We are pretty much like-minded in our exchanges on the intertubes, but we also need the association with those who don't think like us in the real world.

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  5. and yet I tend to think of this crowd (gathered around OCICBW and the old Fr Jake site and your blog and all of our Facebook contacts)as my home parish church now.

    With one crazy priest .

    I've wondered what to call our loose grouping. We could do worse than to be named after the patron saint of lost causes. What are we, St Jude's Online Episcopal Parish?

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  6. Dennis, I like your name for the parish. Should we leave off "Episcopal" as too confining? We could call it St. Jude's Online Parish For Hopeless Cases.

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  7. I have just returned from an evening meditation at church. As always, we sat in rows facing the altar, staring at each other's backs. There were some responses, when the priest said "we sing", we sang. When she said "we pray", we prayed. Afterwards, because meditations are meaningful, we all left in silence, smiling at each other.

    Now my Internet church isn't like that. We all chat, we all engage, we allow the priest to start a conversation and to manage it a little, but we're the ones arguing, talking, laughing, praying. We can be a noisy lot, sometimes completley irreverent, sometimes philosophical, sometimes deeply spiritual. We can post links to articles, video clips, listen to the priest's good music and appalling music, make fun of each other.

    Are we all likeminded? I don't think so. There's passionate disagreement about pretty much every topic. But we are all deeply inclusive. Genuine tolerance is the prerequisite for feeling at home with us. Maybe in today's church, that alone makes us likeminded.

    I think my personal challenge is how to infuse my own church with something like that sense of authenticity and of genuinely being there for each other. Maybe it's possible that "church" can go that way.

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  8. Erika, I was thinking about inclusive, mainly. We're not like-minded about everything, surely, and we do have lively discussions.

    Counterlight, you know that I love NYC. One of these days.... First I have to pay for the trip to England.

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  9. Everyone has said what I have thought as I read this. I have come to really treasure our community out here.

    And I think we can agree - something important is happening. Just experiencing so much of what we have of late, including Lee Davenport's funeral and how we all came together when Catherine Peters died. I will also point to the collective grief of Grendel's passing in the fall. That is when I really knew the spirit was more alive in us than I had imagined.

    To connect to what Goran has said - this is to truly re-member the Body of Christ.

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  10. We even have our beloved resident atheist, IT, who is also a religious freak, because she hangs out with us.

    We are a part of the Body of Christ.

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  11. Doug (Blanchard, aka Counterlight) has a blog, Mimi: Counterlight's Peculiars (Doug's "art classes" therein are tuition-free! :-D)

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  12. Excuse me, JCF, but no shit. I've been to Doug's blog many times. I've left comments. I've linked to it. He's listed among my blog friends, Try to keep up, love.

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  13. I've come late to this wonderful church and I stay because of the love and concern I read here. Yes there are differences but that's what makes it the Body of Christ.

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  14. Now, if we can just talk you into coming to General Convention...

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  15. Mimi for next Presiding Bishop! No, wait. I love her too much to do that. Sorry, just got carried away, and the last thing this group needs is hierarchies. It's been a taxing day and my synapses are not firing right.

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  16. HF, I thought seriously about going to GC before I planned the trip to England, but I'm afraid that it's not on the agenda now. I've gone over my travel budget on the trip to England. I wish very much that I could go.

    Paul, I'm sorry about your taxing day. I am not bishop material. Don't wish that on me.

    However, I'm thinking about the St. Jude Online Parish For Hopeless Cases. We should give thought to moving that idea along. I see possibilities there.

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  17. Catherine in JapanApril 6, 2009 at 10:56 PM

    I am so happy to have found your blog last year.
    If your next travel plans include yen, let me know :)

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  18. Catherine, thank you. What's the air travel time from the West Coast to Japan? The flight over the Atlantic was looong.

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  19. Catherine in JapanApril 7, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    I am originally from the East Coast. The trip is long- thank goodness, my kids have gotten better at traveling. Anyway, I think that the trip from LAX is between 8 and 10 hours. Adding connection time, well, it is just loooong :)

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  20. How 'bout St. St. Jude's Online Parish For the Hopelessly Inclusive? JK. I'm also glad I found your site and MP's... they brighten up my workday...

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  21. I'll second Arkansas Hillbilly's name for the new online community!

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  22. Hillbilly and HF, if we're truly inclusive, we'd need to welcome those who are not inclusive. Just sayin'. Hold those thoughts, and hold on to the name.

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  23. Well, GM - I suppose we can let the ABC play with us if you really insist! ;>)

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  24. Mimi
    I do welcome those who are not inclusive. But there are limits. How possible is it to truly include those who would silence you, make you change your life or throw you out?
    It's only possible if they restrict themselves to holding their beliefs without wanting to do me actual harm.

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  25. Well, I'm not in charge or anything. It was Dennis' idea. We'd have to work it out so that no one could be silenced or thrown out. I suppose there would have to be rules, or perhaps simply the Golden Rule. And there we enter the thicket. Someone or ones would need to decide when the Golden Rule is not being followed.

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  26. Catherine, I'm not likely to be spending the yen. I'd have to get to the West Coast and then endure a longer trip across the Pacific. I don't think I could do that.

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  27. As soon as I posted that, I realized it (that you knew Doug's blog). But why is his name not linked on your list in this entry? :-/

    [I'm not quite as stoopud as I look, promise!]

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  28. JCF, unfortunately I have never met Doug in real life. That's why he's not on the list.

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  29. JCF, my humblest apology. I see where the misunderstanding lies. The Doug in the list is not Counterlight, but the Doug who sends me jokes. He does not have a blog, so far as I know.

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  30. There are TWO different Dougs?! Well knock me down wit' a feather! :-0

    [All this time I thought Counterlight was his high-kultur side, and then there was the declasse' "Doug" side that sent out dirty jokes]

    Who in the world is Dirty Doug, anyway? Does he do anything other than send out jokes?

    I'm so confused...

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  31. Dirty Doug does, indeed, have a day job. Now, since I've called him that, he'll probably never send me another joke.

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  32. ((((((Mimi))))))

    I"ve been so self-absorbed I missed this - that's what I get for being so sucked in to myself!

    Meeting you truly made me smile. I loved it.

    And if we can get Padre Mickey to come to NY/NJ, we've got to find a way to get you to come too!

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  33. Eileen, I loved meeting you, but we did not have as much time together as I would have wanted. Maybe we'll have another chance.

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