Tuesday, June 27, 2006

United by the Net

Sunday evening Deb and I had a wonderful time getting to know some folks who have met and been assembling "virtually" for a while via the internet. Several of us live in Cincinnati, and we've gathered once for happy hour at Applebees. We all share a fascination/obsession with notions of God and spirituality, and have often found ourselves outside the orthodox thinking of mainstream Christian expressions.

Julie Bogart has some details on the formation of this motley crew on her blog, but we are currently all subscribed to a Yahoo group entitled "Pomoxian" for "Postmodern Christians". Dave Blakeslee is the founder of this virtual group (circa 2002), and he and his wife Julie were in southern Ohio for a wedding, so the Bogarts (Jon and Julie) hosted a real-life gathering, which also included Brian and Tywana Smith. Deb and I had met Brian through the area Emergent Cohort, and he shared our enjoyment of all things theological.

Although most of us spent former years in fairly conservative or moderate religious groups/denominations, our individual past experiences are not that similar. But we do find ourselves presently at a similar place in life where we still are seeking to be the best we can, and believe that spirituality and God have something to do with that. We just can't express things in the same fashion as we once could, and are much more open to other ways of experiencing God.

Conversations flowed freely and honestly, as if we had known each other for years. We plan to continue our conversations online and in person whenever possible, providing a safe yet challenging environment in which to work out our faith and lives with fear, trembling, hope, and joy.


Dave said...

Chuck, I'm just letting you know that I finally got around to posting my summary of last Sunday night. I also put a picture of you and Deb on my blog. If you have any objections to that, let me know and I'll pull it down without hesitation. But I do want to say it was a great pleasure meeting you both - I enjoyed the conversation and openness that we were able to establish so quickly. I hope our paths cross again in the not-too-distant future!

julieunplugged said...

I love reading this! So great to know you and Deb. Can't wait for more Aplebee's. :)