After hearing from a few of the members and seeing the wide variety of people represented here, I'm thinking that setting up a more structured posting schedule might be the best thing for conversations at this blog. More structure would allow us to focus our discussions and provide space for various viewpoints to be fully expressed. It will also help us dig deep into various topics instead of just skimming over them again and again.

So for now we are going to experiment with having themed months on this blog. Each month the main, but not only, conversation on this blog will be structured around a particular theme. The idea is that at least twice a week one of the blog members will put up a post on that month's topic. Posters would sign up in advance for the day(s) they want to post. This will allow us to (hopefully) get a variety of perspectives on the theme and allow for various facets of that theme to be explored in depth. Other topics, questions, resource recommendations, and fun stories are of course still welcomed to be posted at any time, but this structure will help guide our conversations. I will keep a list of the upcoming month's topics as well as posting calenders linked on the sidebar so we can easily keep track of what will be posted when.

So to outline where we will be going over the next few months -

November - let's jump right into the tough stuff (and get conversations going) and talk about discipline. So if you have some thoughts on discipline please sign up for a post this month. These could include funny anecdotes, your personal history with discipline, a theology of discipline, advice on techniques, or a historical look at how Christians have approached discipline. It's up to you to contribute what you think will benefit the conversation.

December - this month we will focus on the holidays (and I didn't say just Christmas...). Tell family stories or talk about favorite traditions. What do you celebrate, why do you celebrate? What about commercialism? What do you do about gifts? How do you tell the stories? Do the Pagan roots of Christmas bother you? This is a wide open topic to help get us all thinking outside the box during a generally hectic month.

January - Children in church. What do you do with the kiddos? Do you integrate the kids, send them to do their own thing, or some combination? How do we be the church with kids? What programs (if any) work for you? What is your theology of children's ministry? What is the purpose of children's ministry?

February - Education. Public school, private school, homeschooling, unschooling? Why do you do what you do? What has work, what has failed? What are your thoughts on homework, or tests, or grades, or competition? Prayer in schools? Creationism? This is an open time for us to gather a variety of perspectives on this topic.

I know these are all big topics, but I hope we can learn from each other and start seeing new ways to live holistically as parents. I'm sure we will return to various aspects of these topics, and there are numerous others we can address. These I hope will be a good start.

So what I need from you all is first feedback. Does this structure make sense? Do you think it will work? And then assuming we go ahead with this, I need people to volunteer to post during these months. Just reply here or email me at julieclawson (at) gmail (dot) com to let me know what day(s) you want to post on. I hope to have at least two posts per week on the theme, but more would be great. And remember all sorts of posts from stories, to advice, to theologies are welcome. Let's see what happens!


posted by Julie at 9:03:00 PM |


At October 17, 2007 at 2:50 AM, Anonymous Jason Goroncy

Julie. Gathering around set topics could help provide some shape. Of course, it may be a total flop. All the same, it sounds to me like it's worth a shot. Sign me up for discipline in November: I could do with some discipline by then.

A thought: It might be worth listing the topics (past and future) in the sidebar for ease of access and anticipation of some fruitful conversation.


At October 17, 2007 at 7:32 AM, Blogger Sarah Jane Rhee

Julie, you are a brave woman picking discipline as the first topic! I'll sign up for that one (with fear and trembling...)

I gotta admit waiting until January for the children in worship topic will be hard for me, as this is something our church is addressing right NOW. I wanted to post something about it this week, but I couldn't figure out how long I should wait in between posts to be courteous to the previous posters. I guess that's another thing that would be good to know...how long to wait after someone has already posted before making another post. Are we talking hours? Days? Just curious...


At October 17, 2007 at 8:19 AM, Blogger The Halpinator

thank you to whoever put this together!

I'm going to be a dad in January, and I've got to start thinking about these kinds of things. This will definitely be a site that I will frequently check, and I am looking forward to learning from all of your experiences.


At October 17, 2007 at 9:58 AM, Blogger Marcus Bull

Like Sarah, I can't wait until January for Children and Worship. I'm working on a project right now. Count me in (and have a look at some of the ancient posts on my saly neglected blog: revmadbull [dot] blogspot [dot] com)!


At October 17, 2007 at 11:20 AM, Blogger Julie

Thanks for the interest. And this is an experiment, so we shall see how it goes. It will just take people stepping to to share.

I added the links on the sidebar which I hope will make things easy to navigate. I've added a few of you to the calenders on random dates (just let me know if you want them changed!)

Sarah - go ahead and post! At this point give other posts a day to be up there then jump in. Like I said the idea behind this isn't to restrict conversation, so go ahead and talk about what you want to.

and keep letting me know if anyone wants to post on any of these topics!


At October 17, 2007 at 3:18 PM, Blogger Cindy

I'm with Sarah; waiting until January for the children in worship topic will be difficult. We are also addressing this right now. So...what are others doing with kids in church? If you are in a home church I would love to hear form you!


At October 17, 2007 at 9:06 PM, Blogger Lisa

I'm happy to post on discipline sometime in November. I think that even if folks discuss other things as well, this might provide some direction and structure to get us started.


At October 18, 2007 at 10:04 AM, Anonymous sonja

I can go along with this. It sounds good to me. We're not currently in a church and probably won't be for some time to come (long story that's not appropriate for this space). Although we may be starting some sort of home church-like community thing in the future. That remains to be seen. Something seems to be happening on that front, but it's too fragile to put words to it at the moment.

In any case, I'll post on discipline in November ... with my heart in my mouth ;-) ...


At October 31, 2007 at 6:05 PM, Blogger Saranell

Hey- Julie thank you for getting this going. I will post something in December about the holidays. I have more to learn about discipline than to offer so I will pass.