This week, Questing Parson and Mrs. QP are visiting in the area, and as if it wasn't enough to have them come to church on Sunday, they came back our way and took The Princess and me out to dinner tonight. We suggested a favorite local place, the route to which showed them the fullness of the neighborhood I've lived in for 18 of my 21 years in City By the Sea.
Questing Parson has a new toy, a Kindle, Amazon's wireless reading device (and it's possible I may covet it, just a little). The Parson is quite the Kindle evangelist. We looked at all it could do, how the settings could be personalized, the font enlarged, how quickly the new Al Gore book could download.
At dinner, he asked me to tell the story of how RevGalBlogPals came to be. I love to tell the story, how a two line post by St. Casserole, derived from a conversation with her husband, grew 115 comments, a webring, a blog and a CafePress store in about 48 hours. And that was just the beginning. So many people came into my life, and others have connections I don't even know about, kindled by that one small flame.
On our street this afternoon, I introduced QP to my neighbors, who also blog, and we mentioned the other Methodist blogger my neighbor couple knows, also a RevGalBlogPal. As we arrived at the restaurant, I had a text message from another clergywoman blogger friend.
And just this morning, I gained reassurance from one friend and got comfort from another in little chat boxes, and when I made an error that I hope will prove funny and not catastrophic, I knew who to call for perspective.
All day I've talked with different people about what the Church is coming to, about what our own churches face, about the shift from an old model to a newer one for ministry, about the way women fit in and don't, are accepted or aren't, in the parish and in our denominations. An older pastor from the South and a younger pastor from Maine stood on the sidewalk and shared the same hopes and concerns and puzzlements about their wider church. Four women ministers wondered when we will all learn what some churches know already, that being a faith community does not require a traditional church building.
I wonder what God will do with me, in the long run.
The Internet, then, has kindled many connections of a new kind, a
breath of fresh air in my life and ministry fueling my passion for ministry. It's a different kind of
Pentecost, this kindling of hearts across the ether, a wireless
connection of the deepest kind, personalized, suited to me, just right
for the world at this moment, reminding us that the world really is
small, that it's time to think about how other people live, too.
Something new is kindling.