Friday, March 29, 2013

Networks of Support

When I travel among Friends, older Friends often comment in surprise that it seems like young adult Friends all know each other.  When they ask why this is, I say a few things: there aren't very many of us, we all tend to go to the same conferences and gatherings, and we have lots of mutual friends.  

But I think the main reason we stay so connected is social media.

When I talk about how important social media is for young adult Friends, I often get blank looks.  "You mean Facebook?"  they say.  "I have a Facebook account.  I don't really use it very much, though."

A few days ago, I had a conversation online that was a perfect example of the type of connection with other young adult Friends I am talking about.

This Sunday, in addition to being Easter, is the fifth Sunday of March.  At Freedom Friends Church, when there is a fifth Sunday, we alternate between having programmed worship and unprogrammed worship rather than our usual semi-programmed worship.  In the programmed worship, we ask someone to bring a prepared message and usually have someone lead special music.

I am scheduled to bring the message this Sunday.  While I am excited about it and I feel led to speak, it also makes me nervous.  It is unusual for anyone to preach at Freedom Friends.  In the nine years the church has been around, this is only the fifth time we have had programmed worship.

On Wednesday, I wrote on Twitter:
Last night, I dreamed that I lost my sermon notes for Sunday and when I got up to preach, I was completely naked. Whatever can it mean?
I wrote it in part because I thought it was funny.   It seemed to me like a classic anxiety dream, the kind where you haven't studied for the test and then you realize you are up in front of the classroom naked.

That afternoon, I got two responses.  The first was from Jon W, saying, 
Don't clothe yourself in plans! Let the Spirit strip you of the safety of notes! Prepare to be a pure, unfiltered channel!
The second was from Greg W, who said,
You are nervous! Relax! Also if God leads you to give another message, be open to that!
Greg also asked, 
Will you have an elder present?  
And I realized that, although my recording committee is going to be there, I had not asked anyone to elder.  I immediately sent an email to a member of the committee, asking if he would be willing to ground the space and hold the message in prayer.

In this brief, online conversation, fellow ministers who live in different cities reminded me of two important things: faithfulness in delivering the message and asking for the support I need.  I am grateful to them for their responses, and grateful for the ways that interactions on social media provide support and accountability for me in my ministry.

I wrote this article for an application to a scholarship sponsored by


  1. Thanks for being open to listening and speaking the willingness to witness to the Will of the spirit.


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