It's been a week or two now since a group of us started a series of "round robin" e-mails, sharing items of great import for our respective ministries (!) Our group includes an industrial/business chaplain, someone in an interfaith relations post and a colleague with schools work alongside her local church work. I think the rest of us fall into that final category of the more traditional image of a minister - weddings, funerals, baptisms, sermons, bible study, pastoral visiting etc etc.
So far, in our embryonic "e-support group", for that is what I think we wanted to set up, we have discussed baptismal promises for a six year old, recommended some good theological volumes, and shared concerns for prayer. In between, there have been interesting bletherings, misunderstandings and confusion, to the extent that someone was moved to comment about a parallel universe! It is interesting to note what happens when brief comments are taken out of context via e-mail. When people have replied back to individuals rather than copying the whole group then we've missed parts of the ongoing conversation and of course there's always the possibility that some messages have been promptly delivered to that "that great inbox in the sky" or wherever weary e-mails go to die when they can't find their way through cyberspace. And sometimes things just take much longer to explain when you're slowly typing instead of chatting face to face. Having said that, the chances of us all being in the same room outside of two Synod Meetings a year and the odd ministers' gathering seem remote. We are spread over the East Midlands from Chesterfield to Wellingborough, from Lutterworth to Stamford with Leicester, Derbyshire and Peterborough thrown in for good measure.
I sometimes wonder what Paul would have made of e-mail - at least he and all the other New Testament authors believed in writing to one another - 1 Thessalonians 5.11: Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
So we'll carry on I hope, enjoying receiving e-mails without large documents attached for us to read and act upon or with agendas and minutes included. Just a few musings, silly or profound, with the odd question or comment to provoke or inspire ...