cnmac12 – one woven story

For those who don’t know what it is, here’s a link to cnmac12 where you can find out more.  It’s a bunch of Christians who use online social media tools getting together to chat, learn and inspire each other.  Approximately.  It’s run by Premier Christian Media, whose theology is not always my cuppa, but they make it happen, and CODEC, who are more my cuppa, thanks both!

Last year I approached cnmac11 in fear and trepidation, and although I enjoyed it, I sloped off early, having met all the new people I could cope with in a day.  This year, I knew in advance I’d enjoy it, I knew plenty of people from previous face to face encounters (even if I hadn’t seen them since last year) and I had a higher level of confidence that the people I engage with on Twitter are generally more interesting, entertaining, friendly, loveable and inspirational face to face than they are online.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  (Let’s face it, online they are very interesting, entertaining, friendly, loveable and inspirational.) 

I was quite cross about what the main speaker had to say, but he and I are probably at different ends of every spectrum out there, so that wasn’t a huge surprise.  We both agreed on the importance of story telling when we talk about faith, which was the main point.  The poor chap was at a disadvantage because having met my first twitter friends on the train and at Waterloo, we were a bit late for meeting anyone before the first session, so I spent much of it tweeting “where are you” tweets, craning my neck, and generally trying to spot people. I took grave exception at being told to get out of my Christian bubble (not because it’s comfy in there, but because I spend most of my life with non-Christians).  

Next session @digitalnun and @pmphillips talked about depixelating God – how our experience of God is mediated, and how that mediates our image of God.  I particularly appreciated the idea that we are all part of the image of God, and that is true online as well as offline – so what kind of God do we portray?  

@Byers_Andy did a superb session on how we engage in online theology – how easy it is to lose context and subtleties.  I’ve seen twitter debates turn very niggly if not nasty, and it is generally the limitations of the medium which cause the trouble.  But he also celebrated how everyone and anyone can be part of the theological discourse – it can no longer be reserved for an elite (hurrah!!). 

And so to lunch, which was the best bit of the day.  Thanks to #lunchclub – @simonAdouglas, @sadbuttrue, @aliaswhensmile @riggwelter, @longingtobeholy, @paulDjohnston, @simonGcutmore, @lizjump, @deiknuo @gedrobinson … who have I forgotten?  Theology over food and coffee in an empty Costa with a poor trainee in charge.  New friends and not new friends.  I loved it.  

Back in time for @Batty_Towers speaking on a subject close to our hearts – websites for churches…..much truth spoken there, and lessons learned.  That’s where I realised that @riggwelter was carrying a loooooong extension lead round with him, so tweeted a pic out.  If he lets me, I’ll put it up here later.  

Finally watched some of how an Openconference session works.  If you want to know more about those, look here.  @noahsapprentice did a great job of explaining, but my brain couldn’t cope with the lack of structure that late in the day so I shamefully left.

We foregathered for the final wrap up, and by that point my brain really had departed, I seem to remember mostly sausage rolls and pickles (and baps??), although I think it was a lot more about summarising the day.  The trouble with summarising is that we all experience differently.  

And so to the PUB where more important work was done – (hello @watfordgap at last), and to a solitary train journey home – which this loud introvert needed, to reflect, stare into space, and do a bit more tweeting.   

And what have I learned?  Nothing that I didn’t already know – that time spent with like minded people can feed the soul and mind, that hugs face to face are better than virtual hugs, that there are always more challenges, more ideas, more to learn about God and people, and more need to speak of God out of my own experience to anyone who’ll listen.  But if you’ve read this far, you’ll know that too.  See you next year.      


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One response to “cnmac12 – one woven story

  1. Pingback: All those voices | Rev'd Claire·

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