Vision for a Virtual Parish

(This post refers to a second blog that no longer exists; all the content from that blog has been imported into this one.)

Some are just passing through.

We aren’t seeking higher numbers of those who hang around just so we can feel big and important. Instead, we want more people to experience this faith so they can take it on to wherever and whatever God calls them. Only a few of you will feel the need to hang around stay connected; that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

I feel like Peleg (Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19) in whose lifetime the earth went through major tectonic shifts. Every step I take puts me in a place I’ve never seen or expected. If I try to step back, what was behind me is already gone. My heart demands I keep moving forward. I know the direction but not the landmarks.

This whole thing started with a conversation about private communication protocols, passed through the idea of getting a home server, and ended up with a wholly different mission path. This is not at all what I expected I’d be doing. This is not at all what I anticipated or what I had dreamed for years, and yet I am hardly disappointed. I’m struggling with the means and methods for an unexpected kind of mission. The one thing I know for sure is that God is preparing this virtual parish for whatever it is He does next in this world. One way or another, I am seeking to answer the missionary call, but it’s for a world not yet fully born.

God is most certainly steering events in the work I’ve done lately. My human inclinations lie shattered on the ground, forgotten as things moved too fast for me to mourn any loss. For example, I know where that business of using CentOS went: That’s the OS running on our webhost service for soulkiln.org; it’s what is behind the new blog and the static website I’m still developing.

I’m going back and reformatting some of my books into HTML documents. The ebooks are still at Smashwords where they appeal to that audience, but I want a way to reference that material directly from the new blog running on the same server. Turning them into webpages is a much smaller format so as not to crowd the limited space on our account with the webhost. It’s a bit of work because the only way to do it right is by hand, starting with plain text and adding just enough HTML markup to make it display in a browser. I’m also going to host here at home an electronic library, a larger private collection of files to share with parish members. So far it’s already a very eclectic pile of things I’ve found to have some value to my faith. Hopefully some of you will be able to add to this virtual library and fill the shelves. Meanwhile, I’m keeping most of the technology chatter and hobby stuff on the old blog.

At least, that’s the current plan.

While I can feel the big push driving me forward, my eyes can’t quite make out what’s down the road ahead of me. I knew a long time ago that the old way of “doing church” was not God’s plan for me, neither in teaching nor in physical form and structure. In place of that is only the vaguest idea. It reminds me of all those scenes in places like New York buried under so much snow you aren’t sure what’s under the humps. I’ve never been here before; is that a big bush or a car? It’s still winter and I’m out here enjoying the sparkly newness of it all, feeling my way around. I’m wondering how all these changes are going to make that much difference in helping people find their own faith.

Somehow the demands of life in our changing world will drive a portion of folks out of their comfort zones, and some of them will pass through what we do here. The nature of this virtual parish is that it’s just dandy for you to pop in and then disappear again. Some of you are bound to feel called to hang around for awhile, at least. Take what you need because we have lots more where that came from; it’s falling upon us from Heaven. God provides in abundance and we are struggling to give it away. And it’s for sure that some of you will carry it places no one else can go.

Don’t think I’m not enjoying myself playing with all this technology stuff. Part of it is hard work, and I’m compelled to engage elements of it that never really held my interest in the past. But I know I can’t move forward without it, so I’m still studying all the networking technology so I’ll know what’s there. Who can say when I’ll have to use it later? Still, some of this strikes me as really cool stuff. For a few of you who feel the same way, I’m going to offer ways you can interact with this fancy machine the parish donated to buy. We’ll keep it out of everyone else’s way, but God has plans we can’t guess. He’s going to need some soldiers prepared to fight in a totally different kind of warfare.

How can I help you?

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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One Response to Vision for a Virtual Parish

  1. Pingback: Kiln blog: Vision for a Virtual Parish | Do What's Right

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