Sabbatical Blog

...chronicling some of my projects and learnings during this time apart from parish ministry

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Internet Connections

Today my Psalms Blog was visited by a Lutheran contemporary hymn writer, I got an email from a woman from my first congregation whom I've not seen for 22 years, and corresponded with an animal shelter from a town 200 miles from here which has an adoptable iguana. He knew we wanted to adopt because I'd left a note on shelter websites in several cities. My old congregant found me experimenting with Google. I don't know how the Lutheran Hymn writer who is trying to compose contemporary versions of the Psalms found the Psalmic ruminations of a Unitarian Universalist Feminist Ecologist Blogger, even with the magic of the internet, but he did. Who knows, maybe some of my interpretations of the Psalms will inspire a new generation of Lutherans.

The magic of the internet. I first heard of it in 1991...I remember that because I had to leave the presentation of the library board to pick up my baby from day care. (he's 6'3' now!) The librarians were getting all excited about how this new fangled internet would allow people to search the catalogue from home and have books sent from branches across the city to their local branch. I could bend my mind around the networked catalogue (although I thought that their time table was wildly unrealistic) The rest sounded like sheer science fiction. If they had said that by the time the baby was in high school the internet would connect me with new pets, old friends, and fellow Psalm enthusiasts, I would have thought they had been sniffing library paste.

It all happened, and more. I don't think I've been in the downtown library since I got off the library board. I do most of my research on the internet now. I do a good deal of pastoral care by email and a lot of church administrative work. Soon we will embark on forming groups of UU's in scattered communities who will be primarily connected to their Albuquerque church by internet. The church web site has become its primary outreach to new members. Ipodding, wikki'ing, and MySpace are a dizzying reality in the ministerial world. These technologies are not time-savers, they are ministry extenders. The learning curve is steep. It's been good to have a sabbatical to really dig in.

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