#AdventBookClub: Day 6

The Discipline of Community: (from an interview in Liguorian Magazine, October 1992)


We were not designed to live alone. Where are our circles of intimacy? Who is making you feel alive? Who says “You are a beautiful person, you are the beloved of God, don’t forget it?”. Not quite in those words, but I had a meeting this morning as having been in Durham for 3.5 months and my job description (which we knew was too big) has been threatening to engulf me … but having been told that are more than happy with what I’m doing, my health is important at the moment – take the time to sleep well, eat well, exercise well, socialise, etc. and know that you are doing a good job but you are more important!

A New Life: Ephesians 4:1-6

This just brings back to mind some of the debates that I’ve seen on Twitter over the past few weeks:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

What does this mean when we have theological disagreements? Do we listen to those with the loudest voice? Those with the best public profile? Those that ask the most questions? One of the people (amongst many) that I’ve seen dealing with the issue of #womenbishops gracefully is Claire (we had a tweetup in Winchester!)… but at what point does being full of grace mean sitting back, accepting the status quo – people need to be challenged she indicates more strongly in a later post.

In discussions on BigBible, have looked at the issue of tweeting in church – and looking at Romans 14:21 & the issue of not being a stumbling block to others in church. This doesn’t mean DON’T tweet in church (for some people it’s powerful), but be sensitive to those who don’t understand it – maybe raise it as a topic in church – explain you’re not playing Angry Birds, and I thought this was a great comment to take further:

… thinking about being/not being a stumbling block to others. What structures of accountability does the CU have. How far is Bristol CU in line/out of line with any National policy? I’m thinking that whatever heartfelt, prayerful reasons the group my have for making this decision, they need to think about the message it gives to the rest of campus, and the world and whether this is a legitimate conflict to enter in to. Is anyone , other than the media, calling them to account for the gospel?

And here’s a (tongue-in-cheek) thought as to what this would look like if the church demanded similar provision that has been acceded in the church for women bishops.

This Advent stuff is definitely making me think about what I engage in daily!

Prayer: I’m going to take the prayer as written:

Lord, we ask for the discipline needed to be a true member of our communities. May we choose and be chosen to be God’s beloved. Amen.

Advent Action: Interesting idea (not feeling crafty!): make a small tree on which to hang apples to remind of failings wishing to avoid this advent … hmm – what’s my equivalent! Just looking out of the window at Durham Cathedral reminds me of many things to be thankful for (way too aware of my failings, trying to concentrate more on what doing well!).

And… off to check Pam’s post for today

Tweeting University VCs with @timeshighered

Really interesting post about tweeting University VCs:

Scrolling through some of the 20,000 tweets made by Dominic Shellard (@DMUVC), vice-chancellor of De Montfort University, it quickly becomes clear that he is not a typical university head.

“New Jack Reacher book arrives Thursday. I absolutely cannot wait!”; “Just done a gym session…chilling now in the cafe”; and “Sounds ace!” are all messages that could easily have come from an excitable fresher newly arrived on campus.

But does this steady stream of football banter, jokes with students and staff, and off-the-wall observations on life – mixed with more official university announcements – offer some lessons for more traditional vice-chancellors?

According to Katrina Gulliver, a research fellow in history at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, who has studied Twitter use by academics, it does. Shellard’s communication with staff and students across the university is impressive, she thinks, and “he seems to make a good effort to reply to everyone who tries to engage him”

Read full story.

Blog at Fault?



Interesting story noted in Times Higher Education, likely to be used by many as an explanation of why people shouldn’t blog about professional work… but if this is related to the blog, the blog is not at fault. Think before you post is the key lesson…

A university spokeswoman would not comment on why Ms Fowler had left, nor whether it was connected to her blog. She said it was university policy not to comment on “individual staffing matters”.


She defended the Miss Piggy post on Twitter, writing on 18 April that “the boss thought it was funny!”

Ms Fowler used the social networking site until 26 April, but the account has not been used since.

Read full story.

Lack of Tech Savvy for PhD Students?

Interesting story about use – or lack of – of social media, etc. in academic institutions:

Few PhD students explore new technologies in their research or understand the range of information available to them, a report commissioned by the British Library and higher education technology body Jisc has found.

Researchers of Tomorrow, published on 28 June, surveyed more than 17,000 PhD students over three years, following 60 in depth and looking in particular at those born between 1982 and 1994, the so-called Generation Y.

It states that despite being technologically savvy, Generation Y doctoral students know little about the range and authenticity of research information available in new formats such as online databases, e-journals and repositories, and few know how to access it.

They also have little understanding of open access and copyright. Many believe supervisors would not approve of citing open-access papers and only 26 per cent know that funders are beginning to expect open access to the research they support.

Read full story.