Thursday, July 23, 2009
For a Season: The Ministry of Blogging
I have for some time now wanted to start a blog for the congregation. I would like to post my sermons for those who like to read on line as well as discuss issues that are central to the congregation. A blog like this can bring sermons, Scripture and events to the mind of the congregation.
I am aware that some of the congregation are not computer literate. There are other programs that can meet their needs. I am generally available to those who are more senior to discuss the issues in the congregation. But many of us do not have time to “drop by” the office or even set up a meeting with me to chat about things that under gird our faith. What I am hoping to do is provide a place where everyone who has internet access can follow such a blog and comment on the articles. Blogs often are places where community develops.
Facebook for the Congregation might be a good place, but I find that Facebook does not provide the place where we can go deeper than just facile comments. It does not provide a place where we can follow a topic that permits people to give feed back.
For A Season is my personal blog. On it I have discussed my feelings or my ideas. The title of the blog comes from Scripture—Ecclesiastes 2 ff. But it was with these words that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church at our 2006 General Convention used to put a moratorium on the ordination of LGBT members as bishop and developing blessings for same-sex couples. For those of us who are part of that lgbt minority it was a devastating blow. Just last week, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church reversed that decision and the season of waiting is over.
For A Season also became a place three years ago to grapple with the issues of being a pastor of a Lutheran Church. Over the past few months, I have found that what I thought would be interesting about working in a tradition not my own, would be interesting to the congregation. I am finding that it is not—in fact it seems to tear at the thread of community for some members of the community. So I probably need to develop a place where issues that are completely centered on life at St. Luke’s can be addressed.
A congregational blog would be one which I would be presenting topics that are pertinent to the life of the congregation, issues that are discussed at ministerium, discussions developed at various Lutheran or Episcopal clergy gatherings or theological issues that I have read about.
I know that several members of the congregation both real and virtual read this blog. I would invite you to comment as you would like. I do not mind pseudonyms or nicknames. I merely ask that you do not post anonymously so that if there is a thread that develops I can keep track of who is posting. I will not tolerate inappropriate language as there are too many with varying sensibilities who read this blog. But if you want to comment, go to the bottom of the article, click on comments. It will ask you to sign in. Just give them the information that they need—Blogger does not publish this info. But I will be able to see, if I need to, who is commenting on the church’s blog. I will moderate and eliminate any comments that are inappropriate or abusive. Blogs do not cost anything to the blogger so it will not be an expense to the congregation at all. But it will be a place where folks can ask questions, make statements at their leisure and I can respond at a time that is not frazzled such as before church services, or when there are many people vying for my attention.
I would appreciate any comments.