Many organizations have started blogging their conferences. The CBE conference had a blogging team present, too. A blog is simply an online diary that is made easier to accomplish with blogging software, which posts new entries at the top of the Web page, moves previously posted entries down, and archives older entries for easy access.
I first heard about blogs in the course of my work as a librarian. It is my job to search out the latest and greatest technologies to see if any of them might prove practical to the Christian university context. In this case blogs turned out to be more suitable for my personal life than my professional life.
My wife and I have long been puzzled by the way the Church treats women. Linda has been recognized for her leadership in the medical field and was the first woman to be elected Chief of Staff at the hospital where she works. She and I have led church small groups, majored in hospitality activities, and taken our philanthropy seriously. But her professional female colleagues ask her why she attends this particular church, because they know its misogynistic reputation.
I’d been battling role rigidity in the Church for some time, but I didn’t really feel the issue from the inside until I heard the hierarchical position explained in detail in front of my wife. It was downright embarrassing to me in a way that it wasn’t when she was not present. I felt the degradation. Linda recognized the moment as God acting in her life, guiding her toward the new directions she had been praying for. We’re now supporting CBE.
There are signs of improvement at church. Baby steps, anyway. God is active in this church and it is wonderful to see the Holy Spirit working in the lives of many young new believers. I felt then, and still feel, that even though I have this new pain in my heart, it is not worth breaking a church in two over, no matter how strongly I feel about it. God works in his time, and I trust him to correct this inequity, as he will all other wrongdoing. But how could I speak out, let my opinion be known, and try to persuade others? I do have writing skills, so enter The Blog.
Blog technology is perfect for spreading information quickly and encouraging feedback on that information. It’s easy and quick to post a thought, and the blogosphere, like elsewhere on the Internet, tolerates casual language. Some features can be tailored, such as how much you want to encourage comments. You can, for example, allow anonymous comments, comments only from those who register, or limit comments to known people on a list.
Who’s listening? You might be surprised. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 32 million Americans read blogs: that’s one in six of all Americans and one in four of Internet users, evenly split between men and women. The most active bloggers are young people. Twice as many 18- to 29-year-olds as those over fifty read blogs. Blog readers are about forty percent the size of the talk radio audience and about twenty percent the size of the newspaper-reading audience.
So I started a blog called Christian Egalitarians that’s mounted at http://christianegalitarians.org. I write about what I read and what I experience, limited to the subject of the equality and the Bible, and how it affects the church and family. But doing this solo is a lot of work, besides being a lonely task, so I gathered up a team of enthusiastic conference-attending writers to “blog” the conference. Their limited task is now finished, but I’m still interested in forming a long-term team who might want to share the load. Anyone interested?