Quaker Blogging Workshop
On Sunday, Robin M. and I co-led a workshop at our meeting on Quaker blogs and the "convergent" conversation. (Oh, and tonight, she made rhubarb crisp; if rhubarb is in season near you, I commend her rhubarb pie recipe to you highly!)
About half a dozen people came. It was a sunny day after a month of rain in San Francisco, so I am warmly pleased with the Friends who did stay.
AGENDA: THE WINDS OF THE SPIRIT ARE BLOWING – ONLINE!
1. Silent Worship
Variation on “Telephone” called “Internet”: circulate paper with “I had coffee after Meeting today” around and ask each person to add a comment. [Note: This was an experiment, not entirely successful. But it did bring the experience of commenting on someone else's writing. We felt the impatience of waiting to read someone else's comments after going around the circle; we felt the artificiality of it; etc.]
3. What are blogs? and Quaker blogs specifically?
• Describe a bit about blogs & how they work
• Discuss the Meeting’s own weblogs at www.sfquakers.org
4. Experiential exercise
Group reads excerpts from blog posts, taped on large paper to the walls, and writes comments below [See * at end for list of which posts we used]
• Ta-da: This is blogging!
5. Why is this exciting to Robin & Chris?
• How Quaker blogs are working:
- high-quality writing
- high level of respect
- gives some Quakers who feel isolated a chance to connect w/others who share their views (whatever they may be)
- not anonymous, but usually Friends of Friends
- chance for reflection, deepening of Quaker identity; as blogger Liz Opp called it, “Yearning, Forming, Deepening our Quaker Identity”
- We sense winds of the spirit blowing… same direction…
• Acknowledge the limits of the medium
• Sense of possibility of convergence of branches, Quaker renewal and deepening
• Blogs allow us to have conversations on our spiritual lives across branches and across distance.
6. Silent worship
We would have liked to have more dialogue at the end. But the sunshine was calling, and perople drifted out one by one. The dialogue really did start in the handwritten comments on the posted blog excerpts, and as we processed that experience together as a group.
* Here are the posts we excerpted:
> Robin's aforementioned convergence one
> LizOpp's queries on Lost Traditions?
> Amanda's take on Halloween
> Martin Kelley's classic We're All Ranters Now: On Liberal Friends and Becoming a Society of Finders
P.S. Extra credit for anyone who notices where a certain "guide to the Quaker conversation" got its name!