Why am I a MennoNerd, RevGalBlogPal, and CC Blogger (sort of)? It’s not for fame and fortune, since I haven’t seen any of that yet. And it’s not because each gave me a great-looking blog badge (see the sidebar and footer).
In fact, sometimes I think the labels don’t fit me very well, which is where the “sort of” comes in. After all:
- I keep reading MennoNerd posts that make me think, “I’m not that Mennonite”
- my Nerd quotient is limited (no, I haven’t seen the latest Iron Man movie)
- I’d never call myself a “gal”
- CC could mean Creative Commons or cubic centimetre (yes, we have those in Canada), or any number of other things.
A Room of One’s Own
In many ways, writing is a solitary craft. It’s not only women and fiction that require a room of one’s own à la Virginia Woolf. Even for non-fiction, whether it’s a blog post, sermon, or journal entry, I’m glad for room of my own both literally and figuratively–space to dream, think, and play with words and ideas.
And yet I also need community–the face-to-face community of family, friends, neighbours, church, people I know by name and who know me, that engage me in conversation in real life and real time. If you’re reading this, I count you as part of my community too, along with other readers I may or may not know personally or ever meet face to face.
Writing and Community
Community is also why I am a MennoNerd, RevGalBlogPal, and CC Blogger. While the labels might not be a perfect fit, I greatly value the community they represent. Here’s a brief intro to each one:
The RevGalBlogPals were the first to take me in. They describe themselves as “a supportive community for clergywomen and their friends,” numbering about 300, interdenominational, intergenerational, and international. It’s refreshing to connect with a group where I don’t have to explain or defend my calling as a pastor, where even though my involvement is limited, I’m blessed and challenged by the questions, resources, and care demonstrated by the group. Click on the badge to go to the RevGalBlogPal homepage for more information and a list of member blogs. You’ll see my blog listed there between The Life-Charged Life and Thoughts from the Heart on the Left, which illustrate some of the diversity of this webring. [September 2013 – Now you’ll see my blog listed between Appalachian Preacher and auntie tiffy’s rants and ruminations on the RevGalBlogPals new site.]
When I looked into joining the Christian Century blog network, I was warned that there was a backlog, but as the weeks turned into months, I figured that they must have decided my blog wasn’t a good fit for them. I was blogging at least once a week, mainly original posts, not devoted only to sermons, just as their guidelines say. But maybe my blog wasn’t theological enough? Not close enough to the “moderate to progressive mainline Christianity” they describe? Happily–five months later–the CC blog network also took me in. If you click on the CC blog badge, you’ll go to the network’s main page which shows the latest posts. I’m in good company there with Brian McLaren and fellow MennoNerd Ryan Dueck.
MennoNerds is the new kid on the block–
“a network of Anabaptist/Mennonite bloggers”–22 so far in North America. Hat tip to Robert Martin and my colleague, Chris Lenshyn, who I understand coined the name a year or so ago, and since then it’s become a Twitter list, a paper, a website, and a Facebook page. I don’t always get all of the jokes or sports references, and I don’t always need or want to, but I’m learning a lot from this amazing group–thoughtful, funny, engaged, mutually supportive. I’m glad they invited me to join them. Besides, where else would I be introduced to The Emerging-Anabaptist, Zweibach and Peace, and others?
These three groups are just part of my online writing community. What groups do you value and recommend?