Blogging And The Church

Recently, an article about blogging appeared in the local newspaper. It noted the phenomenon of weblogging, how people are using it, and highlighted the growing fame and fortune of one couple who started a blogging software company called Moveable Type.

There are a number of Episcopal weblogs, some of them doing very creative or thought-provoking (or even amusing) things. Here’s a sampling of just a few:

AKMA’s Random Thoughts One of the world’s better-known bloggers happens to be an Episcopal priest in Evanston. And he’s on the faculty of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, which is also a blog.

Salt Another Episcopal priest, who uses the “nom de blog” of Father John Wilkins.

Father Jake Stops The WorldAnd a third priest’s blog – a nicely crunchy and though-provoking one. It’s a trend? He’s got an interview up at Faithful Progressive, which, yes, is yet another blog.

Going Jesus – a fun and even daffy blog of the Parish Administrator of the “Church of St. Ned of Flanders.” In addition to being a big Simpsons fan and a dab hand at web design, she’s starting “Skool for Deacons” and recently preached a short sermon in class. It’s a refreshingly un-stuffy, un-churchy blog.

Letters from Edgewater is the blog of a Chicagoan from the Edgewater area. This is more in the ‘personal blog of someone who is Episcopalian’ line. There is an entire list of blogs (called a webring) full of similar blogs.

Every Voice Network A social activism site with a progressive Episcopalian focus. Beautiful design. They are very active in the Via Media movement, apparently.

Dylan’s Lectionary Blog – an extremely useful, even indispensable blog with selections from and meditations on the Lectionary readings.

Readers may recognize some of the links, but the webmistress managed somehow to stumble upon some interesting new ones. Some are serious, some not so serious, as you will discover on your own. Happy browsing!

As it happens, this website is built and maintained using Moveable Type. The reasoning behind this is twofold – the webmistress finds MT much easier to use to create and maintain the website, and the blog piece is useful for quickly getting new information posted… and also for attracting the attention of the online, “unchurched” masses in the Chicago suburban region. Blogs are designed to be easily found, and show up on many different kinds of online indexes.

Thus, one goal for the site is to reach out to people in this area who may be looking for a church to attend – especially people who use the Web to “shop” or search for things they need. In the coming weeks, there will be some updates and design tweaks that will make it more and more obvious to the casual web-site visitor that Holy Innocents is a welcoming, inclusive, and caring place to worship.

Another goal is to somehow use the site to gather prayer requests – this would involve either enabling comments, or providing a link to an email address so that requests might be printed out for reading during regular services, or shared among others via email.

Yet more goals may include turning the “blog” part of the website into more of a group effort, with entries from clergy, lay leaders, and parishioners on topics of interest to our faith community and to the wider communities we inhabit. Also, we hope to get back into contact with former parishioners who have moved away from the area, as we will be putting together an “alumni” address list and also possibly working on a church history project. Upcoming fundraising events (such as the second annual Holy Innocents Car Show in July!) will be noted, along with ongoing spiritual development programs such as Via Media (Tuesdays in Lent). The Via Media program is in conjunction with our sister parish, St Columba. As we work to grow closer together as communities, we will be discussing the exciting prospect of sharing more programs with other small Episcopal parishes in our area in the coming year.

The possibility of a new group evangelism or volunteer project will be explored and announced here also. We will be deciding how we might not just physically keep the doors open, but methaphorically throw the doors of Holy Innocents open as wide as possible to welcome those who maybe have not felt welcome elsewhere.

We at Holy Innocents are beginning to discern what it is that we are called to do as Christians and as Episcopalians in this place — the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Although our numbers are small, our faith is large. We invite you to come grow with us.

Comments are closed.