How the Quaker blogosphere changed my life

Let’s see. It was March 2005. My husband, my beloved Chris M. sent me a link while I was at work. It was The Quaker Ranter, Martin Kelley, and his post about the similarities between the emerging church and young Friends. Let’s just say not much work got done the rest of that day.

“From love at first sight to a committed relationship in only five months, that's my journey with the Quaker blogosphere.”

That’s a quote from my first blog post, August 9, 2005. Sometime today, I will receive the 20,000th visit to my blog, since I started keeping statistics, a couple months after I started writing it.

Quaker blogs gave me a writing format that matched the essays I was composing in my head and a forum to develop the writing skills I needed to express what I wanted to say. Last month I read a print book and an e-book on blogging and discovered that I had already learned a lot, from other Quaker bloggers, both through their models of good blogging and through their explicit eldering (encouraging and counseling) of my blog. Martin, Liz, Joe, Kenneth, Rich, Amanda, Rob, Aj, Gregg, Wess, Johan. Thank you, each of you. The list is way too long now to mention all the bloggers I admire, these are just some of the ones I found at the very beginning. Not all of them are blogging anymore, not all of them are even Quakers anymore, but they still matter to me.

In the last two years, the Quaker blogosphere has revolutionized my life. (Well, I still like hyperbole.) Quaker blogs opened my eyes to a much wider world of Friends. I had been to Quaker meeting in a few places before that, but Quaker blogs opened windows through walls I didn’t even know I wanted to see through. Through Quaker blogs, I have found common ground, common ideas, common concerns with Friends across vast distances of geography and institutional theology.

On November 1, 2005, (read down through the comments) I had a new idea for a more efficient way to refer to the plain-dressing, bible-wrestling, open-minded Friends I was seeing around me in PYM, and then found more widely among liberal unprogrammed Friends (where they often referred to themselves as Conservative-leaning liberal Friends) and then, much to my surprise, found similarly emergent-minded Quakers among the evangelical Friends. I called them all convergent Friends.

This concept is still changing my life. Thanks a lot, Martin. :-)

P.S. If Quaker Quaker benefits your life, please consider joining Chris M. and me in making a contribution. You can also find the link to his paypal account from the Quaker Quaker.org home page or any other part of The MartinKelley.com network.

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Blogger Nancy A said...

Very nice and thorough summary! I agree!

4/23/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks, Nancy.

I'm not sure I emphasized enough how much I have enjoyed getting to know so many more Friends and reading about how they are faring in their spiritual journeys.

Reading other Quaker blogs has given me new perspective on my relationship with my monthly meeting - more gratitude for what I have and a larger vision for what it could be.

I have been inspired by your sharing of your path and hope to continue to read more about Prism.

4/23/2007 11:14 AM  

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