Saturday, December 15, 2018

the eve of the first online quaker meeting. i held my breath and dove in to being a moderator of two a week, 7 am and 7 pm. most people i know mention the evening one. not sure anyone will attend the morning one. but i will be there.

ys con for me, it is a chance to bring quakers back into my life regularly. i have recently remembered my love of the iowa conservative meeting, rooted in a rural kind of farm culture where everyone lived near each other and knew each other well. they'd meet and worship in small rural meetinghouses, often surrounded by waves of cornfields in every direction. they don't make communities like that. i couldn't find enough conservative quakers to make a community like those communities, though one friend of mine from that crowd ended up in a co-housing place. it was as close as you could get in the modern world, yet, it was still in town. his income is in town. his life is a city life. he has a community, though.

i think our view of community has to adapt to the times. my kids, their community is online. most of us consider our "facebook friends" to be our primary audience. i'm very hesitant to share details of my life on facebook; why should i tell all my "friends" what i ate for thanksgiving? i consider them more like acquaintances. friends are people you can share a problem with, people who will support you, and who of course you could support. i'm not sure this is true of my facebook crowd, which numbers over 700. but life has you in different crowds, and this is true even on facebook; i have local people, esl people, music people, old college friends; i have a lot of folks up there. but they aren't all a religious community. i have to put in a little more work to get one of those.

i think this is possible. i think quakerism will flourish if people can connect online, and have a community. i think that even a kind of classic, traditional religion can set roots in the cloud, where people can establish a community regardless of where they physically reside. i think we need to reach out, and start this process, and i'll go first.


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