Stories from QuakerQuaker

Another interesting fundraising story from this spring: a lifelong Friend in his twenties wrote asking if he could sponsor the project for more than the typical $10/month plan. He explained that he was going to be living in the area of the world without an active Quaker community, and planned on using online forums like QuakerQuaker as his means of staying in touch with the Quaker world. He wanted to set up a donation schedule that matched what he had been going to his local monthly meeting.

Web communities certainly shouldn’t take the place of flesh-and-blood local meetings with all their joys and messiness. But obviously, there’s some reason we spend so much time in front of screens sharing our faith journeys and spiritual experiences. Two queries for the week:

  • how do online communities feed our faithfulness and strengthen our identity as Friends?
  • what are the dangers of relying on online communities?

Leave your thoughts at the comments below.

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Comment by Evan on 5th mo. 14, 2013 at 4:53pm

Online community for me is much like physical community:  I get out of it what I put into it.   I aspire to feel more connected through the online Quaker community than I usually do, but for the most part this is because I feel immersed and supported within my meeting.  In 2009 I attended the  FWCC Americas section meeting near Portland and sat in on a blogging interest group led by Robin Mohr. Several of the folks present blogged themselves, but I remember struggling to follow up and get connected after returning home.  Feeling very estranged from Quakerism at the time, I remember thinking, "What can this community really offer anyway?  Is this really the future of Quakerism?" In the intervening years I've watched Friends community take off online, and though I've not always been an active participant I've been really excited to watch the connections that are being made. I was particularly impressed by the coverage and diverse media conversations inspired by the recent World Gathering, which helped reinforce the global identity of Friends for me.  Like all Friends' institutions, I fear our online community occasionally becomes self-referencing and irrelevant, but at its best I think we as small community have a lot good to share, particularly online.  

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