The Common Good
September-October 1998

Cybercommunity

by Peggy Kruse | September-October 1998

I ENJOYED READING Bob Sabath's commentary "Cyberfaith, Politics, and Culture"
(July-August 1998).

I ENJOYED READING Bob Sabath's commentary "Cyberfaith, Politics, and Culture" (July-August 1998). Sojourners' excellent Web site was one of the first I found when beginning to surf in late 1995. Shortly afterward I joined the discussion list (see Sojourners Online, next page) where I met people from all over the United States and other countries. Where I lived then in Memphis and now in St. Louis, there are few others in the immediate neighborhood who share my deep interest in Christian-based social justice. The list allowed me to connect immediately with a community of kindred souls and then to keep that community when I changed locations.

We represent a variety of denominations; our ages range from 20 to 70-something; and we are interested in many aspects and forms of social justice. Some have committed a great deal to the work for justice through their occupation. Others find ways to act and be witnesses in their own particular circumstances.

We share information and ideas. We encourage, challenge, and sometimes console one another. We discuss aspects of our faith, social justice, and lives. There is no moderator telling us what is or is not appropriate. Though we don't always agree, our discussions are usually civil; the occasional sharp word is an anomaly. I am continually amazed at the expertise and compassion of many members and have grown in my understanding of issues and ability to discuss them in the non-cyber world.

In Jim Wallis' "Hearts & Minds" column from the same issue, he mentions a new concept of community. "Our model is no longer æthe city on the hill,' but rather the networks of people, ideas, and connections. That's more the way that change will come." I believe the Sojourners on-line community is a good example. Newcomers are always welcome.

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