Friday, July 16, 2010

What I’m Up to At The High Calling Blogs

For several months, I’ve been posting occasional articles at The High Calling Blogs (HCB). The site is owned and operated by Foundations for Laity Renewal, whose mission is to renew society by renewing the church; renew the church by renewing the family; and renewing the family by renewing individuals. In addition to HCB, Laity Renewal also operates The High Calling web site (and I’ve written an article or two for that site as well).

How I got there is one of those “internet stories.”

Long before I was on Twitter or Facebook, I had been following a blog called Inside Work, which focuses on the integration of faith and business. I would occasionally comment on a post, especially those written either by editor Jim Hancock or a business executive named Bradley Moore. One day, I followed Bradley’s link to his blog site, Shrinking the Camel. And enjoyed it so much I started following that blog as well. A regular commenter on Bradley’s book was a guy named Marcus Goodyear, and one day I followed the link to his blog, Good Word Editing. That’s where I discovered The High Calling and HCB, because Marcus is senior editor for these sites. About the same time, I found another blog I liked – New Breed of Advertisers – by a guy named Sam Van Eman whom I didn’t immediately connect to HCB – but he’s one of the editors there, too.

Looking at my RSS reader, I can see that Inside Work, Shrinking the Camel, Good Word Editing and New Breed of Advertisers are among the very earliest blogs I followed. (One day, in a post or a comment at HCB, Sam – and I remember distinctly it was Sam – mentioned a book he really liked called Stone Crossings by L.L. Barkat. His comment led me to her book, which led me to her three blogs, which eventually led to me becoming a co-editor with L.L. and Eric Swalberg for TweetSpeak Poetry.)

So what was it that attracted me to these bloggers and sites like The High Calling Blogs?

Obviously, we shared a common faith – different backgrounds and affiliations but a common faith nonetheless.

We shared an intense interest in how faith does – and doesn’t – function in the workplace.

Even more significant (for me, at least) was the sense of community. People from all over the country and even outside the United States come together in the spaces called The High Calling and HCB. And they share their community by writing about life and work and culture and family and art and a lot of other things.

Earlier this year, I received a direct message on Twitter from HCB, saying they had a proposal for me. I didn’t hear anything else for a few days, but soon enough L.L. (the HCB managing editor) asked if I would be interested in being a contributing editor. I didn’t have to think about it. I said yes – a big fat enthusiastic yes.

What a contributing editor does is write posts or articles on a regular basis (mine generally fall into the category of “work”), participate in commenting and discussions about posts, and help build the community. On my posts, I work directly with Brad Moore, who’s an HCB content editor in addition to his day job as a senior business executive and (most recently) a poet, with his own poetry blog. Brad is one of the best editors I’ve ever had. This is a heretical confession for any writer to make – but I don’t mind being edited by Brad because he helps me be a better writer. (And my next post is scheduled for Tuesday.)

That’s what this community is about as well – encouragement.

If you haven’t been to HCB, you should visit. If you’re looking for community, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for good writing, it’s right there. If you’re looking to stretch and challenge your faith, you’ll find it there as well.

It’s a cool place to be a part of.


Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

And you have no idea how many ways you have encouraged me, Glynn....

Thank you for your commitment to community -- you change people.

With humble gratitude....

Fatha Frank said...

Been tempted to sign on ever since it occured to me that most of what I call the "Blog Carnies" are all members. For all intents and purposes, this is the community of bloggers I've found myself in, but haven't identified myself with.

Enjoyed this post. I'm always interested in hearing how we got to where we are.

L.L. Barkat said...

So glad you said that big enthusiastic "yes." Next step, to meet you at the Fall Retreat. How cool.

And it all began with a link, to a link, to a link.

(Now I have to go say thank you to Sam for saying that to you. Who knew? :)

MP said...

Thx for sharing that. I'm actually really interested in this project.

Sam Van Eman said...

Blog Carnies. Thanks, Fatha Frank. I love it.

Glynn, you've made a good, Old Testament, practice of retelling this story. I'm glad for it in a number of ways.

LL, I accept cash and chocolate bars when you get around to it. :)

M.L. Gallagher said...

And in the power of the link, we find the faith to leap.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered HCB this week and I'm so excited to start connecting with folks and expand my blogging community. Yay!

H. Gillham said...

Well, thanks for sending me there -- the only problem is -- I have too many blogs to read!!!!

That's a good thing - as we say in the business, thanks for the lead.



Deidra said...

Yes. It is a great place to be. It is home and grace and strength and love. With good writing thrown in for good measure. It is a gift.

And maybe this is a good place to thank you for welcoming me in.

A Simple Country Girl said...

Just yesterday I was wondering what amazing webs God must have wove in bringing all the HCB members together. Thank you for sharing not only your saga, but your talents, wisdom and faith with us.


Red Letter Believers said...

I rarely read any blogs OUTSIDE of the HCB community.

And I truly can name friends within the writers and readers.

You are one of them! Glad to be part of your cyber-life!

Maureen said...

And I distinctly remember how I got connected to all of you, beginning with L.L., then a stop at your place, and so on. It's been wonderful so far.

You add so much (wherever you choose to post).

katdish said...

Yes. It's an ever-expanding community. I found HCB thru Billy Coffey and I have connected with so many great folks, present company obviously included.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

What a wonderful story! I have wondered how involved you are, and now I know!

I think many of us really appreciate the wisdom and experience you offer at HCB - I know I do. I learn much from you.

Linda said...

I am so pleased for you Glynn. I always enjoy reading your posts. You have so very much to offer.
I am still learning to navigate my way around HCB. It is a wonderful community.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Glynn - thanks for the kind words about by newfound editing skills! Really, I think you capture the sentiments of so many of us who have been blessed by HCB as a community of like-minded souls with a deep appreciation for words, faith, the arts, and critical thinking about God's place in the mystery of it all.

(And am I really going to meet you in person at the Fall retreat?? SA-WEET!)

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Chiming in here to add to the chorus of appreciation for the HCB community ... and for you as well, Glynn.

It seems a good opportunity to thank you for the ways you've encouraged me -- as well as the ways you've encouraged my husband, the farmer.

Thank you, Glynn. I hope to tell you in person at the fall retreat.

Keep up the GOD work.

Cheryl said...

How serendipitous, in the providential sense, that God connected us all together (or is that "altogether" Brad?)! I continue to marvel at the community I've found in HCB.

If only I could remember how I found you all - I'm thinking it was Chris Cree? Or Marcus? Or both?