Our fiend Dave Warnock is still trying to pull the threads together to organize a British Methodist bloggers gathering. I don’t envy him trying to sort that out. It’s guaranteed that whatever timing is chosen won’t suit everyone, but I do hope it happens. It would be good to get together.
As I anticipate the event, I’ve found myself wondering to myself what it means to be a Methodist blogger. If we bill ourselves explicitly as Methodists, do we have the right to blog in any way we choose, or does our choice of the label impose duties and responsibilities on us? I think it does.
First, I believe we have a special duty of care towards others in our little community. British Methodists are not a major part of the blogosphere, nor are we ever likely to be. We are a minority within a minority, and that’s OK. But blogging does occasionally get rough and in those circumstances its my view that family members should stick by one another.
Second, I reckon we have a responsibility towards the wider family in the Church, those outside the intimate circle of bloggers, who are often discouraged and dismayed about the way they hear the church presented in the media. We have to take the threats facing the church seriously of course, but does anyone really believe that constant talk of decline does the church any good? Methodist bloggers may not have much influence, but we do have a little. And whether we like it or not, attaching this strange label to ourselves does make us a public window on the church. I’m as aware as anyone that the Methodist Church in Britain is not perfect. It has me in it, for one thing! While I wouldn’t want Methodist blogs to be propaganda for the church, I do think we should try to keep our disputes and internal politics just that: internal.