Small is Powerful: Finding Place for Outliers in Virtual Communities

Is there a “There” there in online communities? Or is it all smoke and mirrors? How do virtual communities serve spiritual misfits who are geographically isolated from a relig-ish community? What is the role of online Place for people who are isolated by chronic illness? Can online community empower people to heal and serve?

This weekend, I’m going to the inspiring, inclusive Inhabit conference to exchange ideas about Place-Based Ministry — where I, with an online community, will once again be the outlier. But before I go, here’s my 4 minute message about how virtual place can be Real Place, and how it creates space for the disenfranchised.

P.s. Thank you to my brilliant friend, Dwight Friesen, for engaging me in discussion around Place and for helping me understand the deep value of Flock for my beloved spiritual misfits.

Thanks for being here today!

Want to be a part of our small, supportive community? Join us at Flock. In May our value is Generosity and we’ll be exploring sustainable Giving. Click here for my welcoming video.

Spiritual but not religious? Recovering Evangelical? Jill of all faiths? You might be relig-ish. Browse the posts to learn more, or click here to watch a video about our relig-ish community.

vivienne April 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

You really are incredible Rachelle.
I just wanted to leave a note to tell you that I so admire all the work you do and these videos you are making this year always leave me so inspired.

Rachelle Mee-Chapman April 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Viv! And I am inspired by all the work you are doing with your classes and your workbooks! (Mutual Adoration Society :-)

Sarah April 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Beautiful message, my dear! You made me tear up a little! So grateful to have found Flock. :)

Rachelle Mee-Chapman April 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I’m glad you are with us Sarah. Thanks so much for helping build community on our FB page. It’s so sustaining to check in there and see y’all helping each other and sharing your stories.

Karen C April 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Ditto what Sarah said =) I feel like I’m still getting my feet wet in the Flock community, but there is no question that it is a “place” where I feel at home in a way I haven’t felt in a traditional church for years. Thank you for creating a very real place for us. Hugs!

Rachelle Mee-Chapman April 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Karen. I really appreciate you sharing your story with us. Your words and pictures help us have more “There there” in the Flock.

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