“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
-Flannery O’Connor /ht color turtle
I’ve been following John Saddington’s 10 day blog challenge as a means of both getting into the groove of writing more and developing my site here. Today’s suggestion is to consider some of the reasons why I blog. I know there’s more but this is what came to me first.
Today I want to say something about why this play on words, convers(at)ions, which I take to reflect the interplay between conversation and conversion.
It is my belief that we are shaped by many micro-conversions throughout life. I’ve written about three of my own in the past (a, b & c). There may be one central moment where we “wake up” from a like Lazarus, but as I look back through my life I see many points at which my life took on, sometimes, radically new information and incorporated it into my existing framework or even shifted that framework in a new direction. Continue reading The Contours of Convers(at)ions
There has been an evolution of thought for me when it comes to understanding how to read, interpret and teach Scripture within community. That evolution has taken place over the course the last 18 years or so (I’ve been leading bible studies since I was in High School myself). It began with the basic thought a biblical teacher’s role was to teach the text. This meant raising key ideas and helping people to get the right answer about how to understand what God is saying in this verse or passage.
But over time, my approach has shifted away from this teacher-based model to one that is more participatory and dialogue oriented. There are a few factors that have helped me make the move.
One of the things I struggle with the most are endings. Whether it is writing endings, envisioning the ending of a project, or saying goodbye. I struggle with exit strategies. I have no problem getting started. I love a good opening story. A hearty laugh or a compelling metaphor. I set goals like a maniac. But when it comes to putting the period on the last sentence, now that’s a challenge.
When I think about it, I don’t even struggle all that much with the middle. I like the middle because it’s where the synthesis happens. I love putting this one thing and that one thing together, comparing them, seeing how a dialogue between the two creates something new. The middle is where we get our weave on. But when it comes to wrapping it up and putting a nice bow on it, that’s where I falter.
There are many “tensions” or differences that we run into when building and existing within community. A faith community is no different. I think Camas Friends Church excels at doing this kind of work together. Here are some of the things I have learned from the way this meeting does community with each other.