Gathering In Light 2006: A Year in Review

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This past year has been a lot of fun on many fronts for me but I’ve had an especially great time blogging in 2006. I thought it would be fun to post some of the things that standout in my memory as important events for gathering in light and if you’ve got some fun memories or thoughts then post them in the comments. This post is meant to be a little reflective and to be read as an apology for why I still think blogging is an important practice for me to pursue.

Brief History

I’ve been blogging for quite awhile but have always had my blogs hosted at free places like xanga, and blogger. But back in January I decided to move to my own server and get a domain name. I kept the name of my old blogspot blog, which was birthed out of a desire to have a Christian-Quakerly name for my site. The word Light (from Inner Light or Light of Christ) is associated with both groups, but has been almost absent in this century from Evangelical Friends of which I am a part so in keeping this name I’ve attempted two things: one to re-join what’s been broken and to put an emphasis on community in the word “gathering.” I’ve always seen this site as on open forum between many people, where we can, if willing, learn from one another.

Moving over to my own server (currently Siteground) and getting a domain name was well worth the time it took for me to learn all the ins and outs of using the software, and I’ve been a happy WordPress user ever since. Since I’ve moved I decided to focus my site more and keep it oriented on theology, technology and culture as I understand it in light of my own studies at Fuller Seminary. This focus has been good for me as I practice writing and summarizing things I learn about and how to communicate that to others.

My blog has grown in readership and subscribers since moving over and have all of you to thank for your continued participation here.

Most Controversial Moment

Some of you have been reading since the beginning of last year might remember the controversy this site got into over the startup of a semi-professional Christian basketball league that I learned about last December. In short the Xzuberant Faith Basketball League, which started in my hometown and effected some people very close to me, turned out to be a huge scam. My site was the first place on the internet to offer information about the XFBA and with the help of some friends we uncovered the major issues and helped to bring an end to what turned out to be grand theft. The people in charge of that league have faced the serious legal consequences of their actions for the harm they brought to more than 500 hundred men and their families.

You can read about it here:
How a Small Blog Made a Big Difference

And Visit the Resources Page I compiled to help keep track of all the articles and comments being written. And you can see one set of comments that accumulated over 500 remarks here.

One other “controversy” was over a post I wrote about some “activism” I participated in. The Comments on this post were some of the highest I’ve had on this site.

One of my other most commented on posts is Why Theology Should Be Written on Blogs where a long discussion (?) broke out about the usefulness of theology.

And finally my favorite word this past year was subvert/subversive. Probably over used a bit but mainly because it seemed to have become somewhat of an inside joke with some of us.

Recent Changes:I have revamped my menu bar, to make it less crowded and more to the point. I have updated my featured posts from the past year (visit the Articles page for more). As well as my links page.

Fellow Travelers Along the Way

Along the way I’ve meet some really great people through this site. It’s amazing how having a blog can help you meet people and keep up with friendships already established but it’s true.

Some of the people I’ve meet and written about are:
All the great folks at Quaker Heritage Day and here, including Robin, Chris, Peggy, Chad, Marge and Max. See on Flickr.

Of course there was the convergent Quaker bash at our house in August.

Chris Frazier, from Glued Ideas and Quaker 2.0, and I became Friends over the past year meeting up for beers and chatting about Quakerism, Macs, website design and blogging. He has also been the brains behind the web-design for gathering in light.

I’ve had the privilege to enjoy email correspondence withJarrod McKenna, Australian Christian activist who will be contributing to this site on occasion in the coming year.

Joe Guada ex-Quaker and podcaster for the Beppe-Podcast (one of the first Quaker podcasts ever).

Not to mention all the people I have met through the Daily Scribe, a religious-blogging community I was invited to join this past summer and become one of the “leaders” of this past fall.

In reflection of all this I wrote a post about relationships on the web if you care to read it.

2006 was the year I got my first article published and this website played a huge role in all of that, thanks to all of you who gave input into the article and tips on getting something published. See also a book review I was asked to publish here, by Paraclete Press, the publisher of the book.

Thanks!!!

Finally I want to thank all of you for reading, subscribing and commenting on my site, I’ve learned from all of you and have enjoyed the process of learning how to write and communicate (I am still learning of course) better using this as a forum for that growth.

Thanks to Noah Smith from Snake Cave for designing various headers for me to choose from and light burst for my site.
lightburst

As well as the wessicon:
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Gathering1

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And Special thanks to Chris Frazier for his design of Subtle and ‘subvert’ the wordpress theme that powers gathering in light.

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Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

7 thoughts on “Gathering In Light 2006: A Year in Review”

  1. Wess,

    It certainly has been an eventful year for your site. It was fun rereading some of those infamous squabbles with the likes of yes2truth and the ever-prolific “john”. I’m looking forward to even more discussions in the future as you continue to learn and share.

    Peace,
    Kevin

  2. @ Kevin thanks for all your vested interest in the dialogue here and keeping me on my toes! You and I have been able to keep in touch much easier with this as a forum and I’ve really enjoyed that.

    Oh and I hope John visits just to say hi!

    @ Martin our blogs collided almost 2 years ago now, and it’s no small matter that this happened as many of the people I have met face to face are indirectly because of you. I hope that we will meet this year and that some time soon we’ll be able to do some of these projects we keep thinking about!

    Thanks for your encouragement and friendship as well.

  3. I was just thinking a couple of days ago how crazy it is that a year ago I didn’t know Wess Daniels! Amazing world we live in. We need to schedule some coffee in the next month, too.

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