Continued from my previous post, picking up where I left off with the “historical/Kairos convergence” of my journey and history with Old Saint George.
My “Old Saint George” history began with my meeting Larry Bourgeois, and proceeded through 11 plus years now, “training” and “preparing” me for the times that are now, and began in earnest in June 2003, just after Janet and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by going to see “Bruce Almighty”. I was particularly sensitive on that night about life direction, feeling like “What have I gotten Janet into over all these years? ”
For a week after June 11th (the anniversary movie date), I was as close to rock bottom as I can remember. I had recently begun exchanging a lot of email with Larry about how Old Saint George is “ripe for some new Web development and vision”. They had built a Website several years earlier, but it was largely static, and was not being updated. The sense of activity and excitement that was happening in those “bricks and mortar places” in Old Saint George was not being communicated. And the “Great Good Place” that it represented “in the flesh” (and bricks and mortar and whatever) did not have a very “doable” online element, another glaring absence of actual life at Old Saint George that was not at all apparent on their Website.
One day, as I put my head down on my desk in front of my PC monitor, and uttered something like “Please , God”, an email popped into my inbox and the Outlook chime alerted me to its arrival. Larry had written to say “I think the time is now”, and it seemed like life had returned. A couple weeks later, I was up in Cincinnati , meeting some people Larry wanted me to know about, and Larry and I continued some exploration of some things we had begun to put down on paper (in emails, printed out and carried around with me so I could constantly ponder and “take notes” and stay tuned to the ideas that seemed to be pouring in. I spent 3 days there and came back to Nashville with the sense that not only was there going to be a little bit of money to develop this, but that finally, the things I had been longing to do for 10 years were finally being “given permission” and “called forth”.
This mid-2003 turnaround will be a wathershed moment that sounds the call to begin. It continues as the year ends and 2004 begins. I plan on making another of what has become an every 3-week trek up to Old Saint George to put our heads together and build the collection of online assets and descriptive presentation materials. The Bookstore is in a database, Amazon affiliate links and tie-ins to Amazon Services are being explored to create the Communkty around books that is a passion for Larry, Matt (the OSG resident who is charged with bookstore development) and myself, as well as several in the OSG Community. Blogs are being set up for internal use , and encouraged as external, public, community building tools to enahance and extend the “Great Good Place for Community and Spirtual Renewal” vision into the wired and wireless worlds.
Speaking of Wireless, over a year ago, in whatturned out to be an early indicator that things were about to begin happening withthe online ministries of Old Saint George, I told Larry about “Smart Mobs”, a new book out by Howard Rheingold, echoing some of the same stuff that was in “The Virtual Community” 10 years earlier, but this time the “revolution” is occurring in Wireless space. “Conectivity” untethered. Old Saint George already has at least a couple of Wireless access points, and Larry told me to go find me a PDA/Pocket PC so I could become officially immersed inthe technology and, by association, begin to weave these tools into the online community tools we were envisioning.