I never know quite what to do with New Year. I love the Advent season of preparation (I generally read something from the Hebrew Scriptures, this time it was Ezekiel) and get all excited about Christmas, and then New Year muscles in and steals its thunder. There’s something about New Year I always find anticlimactic, so last night I was asleep by 11pm, only woken briefly by the fireworks as we ticked over from year to another. Despite my ambivalence, the holidays do give me time to reflect on the last twelve months, and it’s as good a time as any to say a great big ‘thank you’ to all my readers.
I’ve written twelve blog posts this year plus an article in the Friend, so posts and readers are up from 2018. Much of my writing has been prompted by my work at Woodbrooke. Quakers in Britain have been considering issues around diversity, inclusion, power and privilege, and I hope my written contributions have been a helpful addition to the conversation: there are my reflections from Britain Yearly Meeting (my second most popular post of the year), ‘Does Jesus exclude?’ (my third most popular post, helpfully shared by the Inclusive Church network), and my reflections on the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion National Gathering.
Several posts were inspired by interactions with course participants, as well as ‘Does Jesus exclude?’, these include ‘Jesus key to my experience‘ and ‘the God of broad places‘ – the latter prompted by dialogue around Quaker non-theism. I’ve also been writing about the 2019 Swarthmore Lecture – in order to help more Friends get to grips with it, something which I’ll be continuing to do in 2020.
I’ve also had a go at some other types of theology. My post on ‘bear’ theology was very well received (and a lot of fun to write), my more technical piece on ‘What is “that of God in everyone”?‘ was much less popular (although I found this equally enjoyable to write).
My most popular post of the year was my piece on testimony, that was widely shared during Quaker week in October. It’s so satisfying when people find what I’ve written helpful.
So in terms of my writing, it’s been a very fulfilling year. I finished my MA in theology in August, which was major writing project in itself. With that completed I’ll have a lot more time to blog, particularly as from this month I will be working part-time, leaving me a day a week to read and write. I’ll also be turning my dissertation into a couple of journal articles, which is a new adventure for me, and I may even start writing a book. We’ll see! So I’m very excited about what will appear on Jolly Quaker in 2020. Watch this space.
As always, thank you so much for following, reading and commenting on my blog. Your support means so much, and your feedback helps me become a better writer and theologian. My aim is to produce useful theology, and you help me discover what is useful and what isn’t.
Wishing you all an abundance of the fruits of the Spirit in 2020.
In love and Friendship