Well, I’m a blogger. I tuck in my laundered shirts. I do my best to write correctly. I’m well aware the world is God’s not mine. And I can go days without posting on my blog or checking my stats. (Well, ok, I admit it: I get the jitters after four days.)
I first began blogging in 2007, ages ago in tech time. Intending only to chronicle my year as a seminary intern serving a church in Scotland, I had hoped the blog would serve as a way for me to connect with my friends and family back home. But after posting for a few months, connecting to other bloggers, and reflecting online as a young pastor-type, I was hooked. My blog flourished after I returned from Scotland, and continues now as I serve as a pastor of a small church in northwest Minnesota.
To stay grounded, some pastors regularly read poetry. Others meet weekly with a spiritual mentor. Some spend intentional time in nature. I blog. Like all good art, blogging helps me look at the world through a different lens, with reflection and purpose. Though the phrase “official blogger” is strangely incongruous, I’m looking forward to “officially” covering the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.’s General Assembly through the lens of “blogger” for The Presbyterian Outlook.
To such a position I will bring my familiarity with General Assemblies (this is my seventh), and my connections to the larger church. Back when I was really young — I’m 27 now — I served as co-moderator of the National Presbyterian Youth Ministry Council. I am currently a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song that is developing the next hymnal and song resources to serve the denomination. Most of all, though, I’m a small church pastor.
It’s funny how some terms develop. All media is social media, but the term “social media” has come to mean “non-traditional media,” or media that connects people online and emphasizes a high level of social interaction. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs all fall into this contemporary understanding of social media. In a manner of speaking, a PC(USA) General Assembly is all about that underlying understanding of social media — at General Assembly the church connects (big time) in ways lived-out only every two years. It’s only right, then, that the assembly also connects delegates on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook as well, for it is at General Assembly that our Presbyterian connections are most visible and spirited.
I look forward to covering these connections by blogging on The Outlook Web site throughout the assembly (www.pres-outlook.org). And I’m grateful that God works through this connectional church, and even through the Internet and bloggers — disheveled or not.
ADAM J. COPELAND blogs at A Wee Blether (adamjcopeland.com). He’s also on Twitter @ajc123, and is the pastor of First Church in Hallock, Minn.