Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Deacon Greg links from his Bench to an article in The Georgia Bulletin about blogging clergy - how they got started and why they do it. That's enough of a nudge for me to share how this page began (just a little more than two years ago) and what keeps me at work on it.
How did this start? I'd been reading blogs for some time and had often thought about writing one but presumed that I didn't have the cyber-savvy to carry it off. Then on a rainy summer afternoon in 2007 I thought I'd just take a look at what blogging entailed. Already a regular reader of Whispers in the Loggia, I clicked on Blogger over at Rocco's place and discovered how easy it was to set up a blog. In about an hour and a half, A Concord Pastor Comments was online. Within a day or two I learned how to post graphics and YouTube videos -- and that's how it all started.
At the beginning, I emailed about 30 friends to let them know I had a blog up. Some time later I put the word out through my parish bulletin. My readership grew in large measure due to other bloggers linking to my page and folks around the world Googling words or phrases that brought them here. Many Googlers stop by and move on but many others have become regular readers. Right now I'm averaging close to 300 hits per day. Prior to the beginning of summer vacation, that number was closer to 400. If last summer's pattern repeats, numbers will go up again around Labor Day.
Anyone who has been reading this page since its beginning has seen its shape evolve over two years. There's been no master plan at work but rather a process of observing what kind of posts readers respond to and what kind of posts I most enjoy writing and sharing.
What do I post? Even a quick glance at my nearly 1800 posts (this is post No. 1781) reveals that the standard fare here includes: a weekly Monday Morning Offering; two weekly posts highlighting the scriptures for the coming Sunday; a weekly Sunday homily; daily reflections in Advent and Lent; commentary on the liturgical year and its feasts and seasons; links to and my own musings on life, ministry and church related news; plus occasional offerings of poetry, music, video and art.
Why do I write this blog? Working on this page has afforded me an opportunity for using in a new way some of the talents God has given me. Keeping this page fresh is a great exercise for my creativity and writing skills. I find writing this blog to be a source of prayer and peace for myself and I'm grateful that many others have found it to be the same for them. Writing this blog has strengthened my study of the Word for preaching and preparing prayers and reflections for this page has deepened my own spiritual life. If all of this touches others in like fashion -- and many of you have let me know that it does -- I praise God for using my efforts in this way.
Blogging is a far more satisfying way of using and passing time than surfing the wasteland my satellite dish delivers. If nothing else, writing this blog has made me a virtual stranger to the television in my living room - and that's a good thing!
Posted by Austin Fleming at 8:00 AM