Saturday, August 11

A Quaker Post

I had an interesting exchange with Forrest of A Quaker Watering Hole about this post. I, in my pushy/helpful way, offered to help set up some kind of discussion/Skype group on "taking back Jesus" for Quakers and perhaps other lefty Christian seekers. He responded that "Back at the old blog, we're already getting rowdy on the old one-post-at-a-time system, which I'd expect to lend itself better to reflective comments."

My response:

I think in terms of reflective comments you may be right. It's the difference between sitting in a meeting and just talking, or, having only those who write a prepared statement ahead of time be allowed to speak. The prepared statements will definitely be more reflective but not everyone will participate. Those of us who have been blogging for a number of years sometimes pull our hair out over "lurkers," those who read but never comment.

Were the comments at the interest group meeting at Pacific Yearly Conference less reflective than if everyone there had written an article on the subject of "taking Jesus back" for Friends Journal?

Reflection need not be swapped for spontaneity in all cases: one of many reasons I go to Meeting.

He replied:

All right, I play go on and I don't necessarily think any longer about those moves than if I were playing a real-time game.

And thinking a long time is certainly no guarantee that the Spirit is being consulted in the process.

Neither I nor John have a copyright on the idea of "Taking Back Jesus." I asked him for permission to use his statement, because I had that opportunity, but my sense was that he didn't mind anyone reprinting it.

The real difference I see in a real-time game is that it ties me to the computer for the duration, keeps me there responding timely to the other guy's moves.

So if you start such a discussion, I'd like you to invite participants to also read & comment on 'my' site, but I don't see the advantage to joining in myself, under that time-constraint. Enjoy!

So this thread is for those who want to discuss the whole "blog post" versus "chat" dynamic, and also for those who want to join a Skype discussion on "taking back Jesus." Or you can just email me see sidebar. Thanks, Forrest, for your willingness to let me post this stuff.


  1. Hey, Blue Gal -- on the subject of "taking back Jesus," do you know the bog Street Prophets? It's a community of progressive people from all different religious backgrounds. You might dig it. (Sorry if this sounds like an ad -- I don't work for them or anything -- well, except in a volunteer capacity.)

  2. Whether it is prepared or spontaneous, the essential ingredient
    is that it be spirit led. A forum where people are responding in real time may well run the risk of being a debate, not worshipful. On the other hand, I think an on-line Quaker Meeting could be pretty cool; but I have a feeling non-Quakers might find it kind of slow moving and pointless. When I try to describe Quakerism to non-Quakers, Quaker process is the hardest thing both to describe and for others to grasp. But to me, that's what sets us apart, makes us "peculiar" (a concept I thoroughly enjoy, by the way.)

    I have yet to download Skype.

  3. Hey, I didn't intend for the above comment to sound preachy. If it does, I'm sorry.

    Off to Meeting now (late as usual) …

  4. I spend time at StreetProphets and it is a great place, part of DKos world as you probably know.

    And all are welcome there- Wiccan, Atheist, Christians of all sorts, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.

    But I am off topic already!

    I am pretty new at all of this and have yet to be part of your Monday night salon. However I am very interested in more dynamic forms of communication and the open exchange of ideas.

  5. I might try street prophets in my spare time and someone else suggested the Quaker posts at beliefnet as well.

    I've changed the name at my other blog to Blue Gal's Quaker Blog where I'm going to put posts like this.


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