The Church Sofa 5th Birthday Self – Indulgent List of Stuff

20131116-231203.jpgIts been 5 years! 5 years since The Church Sofa had its first blog post. I’m not sure what this really means, but I feel we’re ready to go to first school now… Does that mean that Sofa is growing up?

I’ll ponder that for a while, in the mean time, I’ll leave you with the Annual Self – Indulgent List of Stuff… in other words a list of our most popular posts /pages from the last 5 years:

  1. Guide to Raising Hands in Church.
  2. The Church Sofa Guide to Church.
  3. Introducing “God Baby”.
  4. Christian Chat Up Lines.
  5. Ten Christian Insults to Consider
  6. Ten Ways to Misbehave at A Christian Festival.
  7. Do you need a spare vicar?
  8. Things Jesus Never Said.
  9. What Christian Denomination Should You Be Part Of?
  10. How kids disrupt Church Services (A Guide Through The Ages)

Thank you for your support over the last 5 years. I’m going to go and practice behaving like a 5 year old…

Anything you’d want to see more of over the next 5 years?

Big List of Brill Blogs

A while back I asked a question on Twitter: “What has been your best Church / Christian blog of this year? What do you think other people should be reading?”

This was with the intention of selecting one for the Sofa Awards 2013 post… and to be honest… I normally just get one or two names mentioned. This time around, I was met with a long list of possible suggestions. Instead of picking out one, here are all the ones suggested in this Big List of Brill Blogs. (Sorry for the cheesy name)

 

Group Blogs

  • Audacious – a Bible experience focused around a shared journey of discovery. Found on twitter @AudaciousHq.
  • Hillsong Collected“an ongoing collection of thoughts and stories from the leadership and key team of Hillsong Church around the world, conveniently packaged in three different streams.”

Faith Blogs

  • Sixty Stadia – “I use this blog to write things that I am learning or have learned on my walk of faith. I use this blog to explore some of the challenges of trying to live out Christianity – the most radically subversive lifestyle the world has ever seen – in the twenty first century. I hope that in reading you may find something that helps or encourages you and if you’ve never known Jesus yourself – I hope that something of these words encourages you to get to know Him.” – @SixtyStadia
  • Thorns and Gold“Suffering, Bible, messy edges of life”@Tanya_Marlow
  • Broken Cameras“about faith and failure”@danny_webster
  • Pams Perambulation – “I am  Methodist Minister, but not currently able to work in active ministry because of chronic illness. I really miss it, so I wanted to find some way of continuing to interact with the world – so here you have it.” – @pamjweb.
  • Dreaming Beneath the Spires – “a personal spiritual blog. I explore what it means to follow Christ as a wife, mum, and writer in affluent and beautiful 21st century Oxford. My themes include the love of God, the magic of prayer, the power of gratitude, the wisdom of the Bible, and the joy of reading and writing!” – @AnitaMathias1
  • Digital Nun – Benedictine nun keen on God, books and technology. Likes people, too – @Digitalnun

Church Blogs

“Stuff” Blogs

 

Is there anyone else that should be mentioned?

Add them yourself in the comments below!

Blogging… In The Beginning… tips on starting a blog from Twitter

One of the characters on my twitter feed commented a few days ago:

Tempted to start writing a random blog but dunno where to start?

There were a few tweets between her and myself, but his conversation inspired me to ask Twitter, what advice would you give someone thinking about setting up a blog for the first time? Here is the collection of very kind responses I had back:

hello from sxc.hu

  1. Be yourself & write about what you know or what interests you. #blogging – @redjules
  2. Don’t try too hard. Be yourself. Be prepared that nobody will care. Be comfortable with that. Have fun. – @crimperman
  3. Decide how often you plan to blog, and be realistic about whether that’s plausible. – @MikeCamel
  4. Link to lots of other blogs to build community. But think “community”, not “visitor count” #Blogging – @Gerrarrdus
  5. Just don’t! Seriously, take a look at the tab on my blog – all there somewhere – @FrDavidCloake
  6. Depends why they want to blog. But just do it :)@Clairemaxim1
  7. I would say its worth considering doing it as a ‘collective’ or at least guest blogs and use wordpress –@mattcurrey
  8. Try @WordPress Even I, a non-techie can manage it. Their support have always been really helpful too. Otherwise just enjoy. @ShirleyAnstey
  9. Find your own approach. Don’t preach at me. Stay away from party/denominational politics – @notvicarbot
  10. Create something you are proud of. – @thechurchmouse

A number of great tips and comments to help inspire there, but how do you actually get started?

Well to keep it simple you have a choice of two main blogging websites. Blogger is ran by Google, and some would suggest its one of the easier sites to use, to find out more about Blogger I would suggest checking out this handy page over at The Vernacular Vicar. Or if you prefer something with a bit more adaptability then I’d suggest you check out this article written by Bex on Setting Up WordPress.

There are other blogging websites out there, would you recommend anything that isn’t WordPress or Blogger?
Do you disagree with any of the above?
Would you add any advice to what’s listed above?

Olympics, Success, and Homelessness

Sophie over at exeterymca.org.uk has been looking forward to their 20th anniversary celebrations:

I feel that as Britons we have had a lot of reason to celebrate in 2012; we have hosted the Olympics, celebrated a Royal Wedding and witnessed a Golden Jubilee. Reflecting on these events has made me realise how good celebrations are at raising profile, recognising importance and acknowledging success.

Take the Olympics for example. In the run up to that event the spotlight was on sport like never before. Even as a relatively un-sporty person I couldn’t help but get swept up in the sport mania that embraced Britain. Personally it made an impact. I have taken up running and even joined a running club. Similarly, the Olympics gave us a unique opportunity to assert the importance of sport in British life. Whether it was through building brand new, state-of-the-art sports facilities or through the numerous funds which have been set up to get Britain active, the importance of sport has been reiterated through politics, media and celebrities time and time again. Finally, what a fantastic opportunity the Olympics gave us to acknowledge the determination and success of countless sports men and women from a huge range of sporting disciplines.

So what are my hopes for our year of celebration in 2013? Well I am not going to pretend that our anniversary will be anything like on the same scale as the Olympics or the Royal Wedding and Jubilee. However, I hope that it will achieve some similar outcomes. I hope that through our anniversary celebrations we will be able to put the spotlight on youth homelessness…

To read more about the plans for the Exeter YMCA 20th anniversary celebration, check out the blog over at exeterymca.org.uk

Being a survivor, Living in Silence, and Jimmy Savile.

Just a sample of a powerful blog post from fragmentz

I am learning to live in hope.

I am also learning that I can be a voice. Someone who can speak out.

Someone who can tweet, write, talk, share and hopefully raise an awareness of what ‘surviving’ is like, whether that is surviving abuse, or surviving mental health illness. And as I continue to learn to keep growing as a person, and keep living in hope, I am learning to use the voice that I have.

Read the rest of “Some thoughts on being a survivor, and Jimmy Savile” over at fragmentz.org

We’ve Had A Few Changes…

churchSofaWell, we’ve given this place a quick lick of paint, moved a few things around, cleared stuff away from the back of sofa, got the hoover out… that sort of thing…

We’ve used the latest version of Standard Theme to upgrade some behind the scenes bits and pieces, and clean up the side bar a little.

If you find anything broken, please feel free to let us know either via a comment below / the contact form above.

 

Blogging On The Go #DigiLit

Ok.

So we’re all leading busier and busier lives, and I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it harder and harder to arrange for moments of inspiration, and times sat at the computer to happen at the same time.

So here are our quick top tips for blogging on the go (sorry for people who don’t have iPhones):

The Blogger app:
If you have a blog hosted by google, then is a must have app. Easy to use, quick to set up. You can work on your blog as and when you get the chance.

WordPress app:
If you have a WordPress website, then give this a go. There’s a little setting up needed if you have a self hosted WordPress site, and the UI isn’t great, but can be good for writing drafts at least.

Notepad:
By this, I mean an actual notepad. Great for scribbling drawings, and ideas down. Or you could get a smart phone and just write ideas on its note pad app… (One day I’ll get into the habit of using Evernote, to synch my notes online.)

Posterous:
Write email. Send. Done.

Twitter app:
Need I say more.

Record yourself!
Have something to say, but they’re getting confused between your head and your hands?

Or maybe you just want to rant? Have you considered recording yourself? If you have a smart phone / computer with a webcam you’ll probably find its easier then you think to upload a video onto YouTube.

Alternatively, if you don’t like sharing your face with the world, but like your voice, try checking out audioboo.

Top Tips For Blogging on The Go: Get Out and Focus

Don’t write a lot.
The blogging platform Tumblr, and a number of WordPress themes have some great ways of presenting a little bit of text. Don’t think because you don’t have a lot to say, it’s not worth sharing.

Get out.
Sometimes it’s good to get to help you focus. This post was mostly written on the iphone notepad app, whilst enjoying the sunshine in the local graveyard. (Closet nicest patch green space to me, see the picture for my view.) Granted I’ll tidy this up at home, but the grand majority of the work is done.

Sometimes getting away from distractions can get the mind focused… Now where’s my Bible app…

Originally posted on The Big Bible

Weekly Roundup: The Atheism 2.0 Edition

Welcome to the last Sunday edition of The Weekly Roundup (for now at least):

Weekly RoundUp: The Bon Jovi Edition

Its been a mad week, with lots of comment – with the images to match: