A Facebook Communion?

The Anglicans Online have a front page editorial this week about the Anglican Communion, in particular talking about whether there is a danger of it being a bit like Facebook where one chooses whom one wants to be in communion with. Christian communion is historically reciprocal, deliberate, public, duty-creating, love-impelling, and church-strengthening. As the ground…

who is in communionThe Anglicans Online have a front page editorial this week about the Anglican Communion, in particular talking about whether there is a danger of it being a bit like Facebook where one chooses whom one wants to be in communion with.

Christian communion is historically reciprocal, deliberate, public, duty-creating, love-impelling, and church-strengthening. As the ground of Christian life it is not something we choose, but something we are given: given from God the Father through God the Son, enlivened by and filled with God the Holy Spirit. It is a profound, ideally eternal relation with people we may never meet or befriend on this side of the veil. It is a far cry from the point-and-click ecclesiastical relationships we watch unfold week by week in Anglicanism.

It uses my cartoon and comes a few days after the formation of the Anglican bloggers Facebook group, but I think these two facts are coincidental.

Mark Harris has responded with ‘PRELUDIUM: Is the Anglican Communion as we know it … a commonweath in cyberspace?‘. He describes me as ‘the Cartoon Church madman Dave Walker’. I can’t really argue.

Some people in the comments at Father Jake’s site asked whether Facebook was the best place for such a group. ‘Maybe yes, and maybe no’ was the gist of my answer:

I wanted to set up a Anglican Bloggers Facebook group with an ‘open to everyone’ philosophy before someone else started one with the same title but only open to those sharing a particular point of view.

In the longer run Facebook may or may not be a good place to have such a group, but it’s a start. Perhaps, as some have suggested here, some other sort of blog or aggregator might work better in the long term.

In a fit of enthusiasm I went out and registered AnglicanBlogs.com thinking that perhaps a new domain name would sort out all our troubles. I’m forever doing this. I have a list of domain names to remind me of all the projects that never really quite worked or in many cases, saw the light of day.

Thus far it has been most encouraging to see over 274 people join the group from all sides of the central aisle, though perhaps a greater proportion from the liberal side (ie the one where using the kneelers is optional). I’m aware that one or two new connections have been made as a result.

There are other lists of Anglican blogs, but none as far as I am aware covering the whole Anglican Communion. For the Episcopalians there’s a blogging Episcopalians webring, but the links on Anglicans Online to blog lists are now rather moth-eared and overgrown. There is the Technorati Anglican blog list of course, but it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously for reasons that become obvious as soon as you look at it.

If you have ideas about where we go from here in terms of uniting the entire Anglican Communion using blogging and a hastily purchased domain name then do post them here or on the Facebook wall. I feel sure that cake needs to be involved somehow, but I can’t quite work out how.

Thanks by the way for the continued comments on my ‘ideas appeal’ posts. I print them off and read them in the library or a Basildon coffee shop. The cartoon relating to ‘excuses for absenteeism’ is now complete, the one relating to the ‘things carried by clergy’ is very nearly there but the ‘Fresh expressions’ one will get there eventually. I’m trying to work out a way to reward contributors in a very real way (but not too real). Seriously though – I do appreciate it.