WikiFaith - A Shared and Editable Faith
Convergence is intentionally being shaped to be marked by presence, but also by a faith that is editable and shared. Choeng writes, in her book, Digital Religion, Social Media, and Culture: Perpsectives, Practices, and Futures, about wikifaith. The term borrows from the wiki-sites that have become such a mark of the current state of the internet.
Looking back over the eight-plus years of Convergence, we have been building a “wikifaith” community. This language is newly found from the writing of Choeng, but the intentionality has been in the DNA of Convergence from the beginning. The origins of the “wiki” language means “quick,” however, quick could be seen as a negative. Quick in this sense, is easily editable, available for shaping.
“ . . . Wiki-culture is a cultural phenomenon and institution that is illustrative of community and communication in the virtual media environment . . . it is multi-sourced exchange and updating . . . It is a source that is free, open, and neutral (is anything actually neutral?), timely, and social.” - Pauline Hope Cheong, ed., Digital Religion, Social Media, and Culture: Perspectives, Practices, and Futures (New York: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2012), 68.
Convergence has found what Choeng writes about the value of wiki-sites contributing “deeper, broader, and more up-to-date”; our community has become more broad, more deep, and more present as a result of such a “wikifaith.” The beauty of a wikifaith community is found in it's grace and openness to look for God everywhere--not saying first that God must be found in a specific, over-defined way.
While an open and forming community is stressful when one thinks in terms of control and boundary, the boundaries and "rightness" are often redefined for a more healthily by way of a wiki-effort, rather than by leadership control and power. The beauty of calling a community to be participants in the story of faith overwhelmingly outweighs the stress for controlling the outcome.
A wiki-faith community reflects the fluidity of faith that is called for in facing disorientation with open hearts, eyes, and minds. God as Rock is prevalent language in the Scripture. But the imagery of God in Scripture is also Living Water. God is a changing river, a flowing stream, the movement of life that refreshes and shapes with power and fluidity. A wiki-faith community can reflect such fluidity, but those who have concreted themselves into an unchanging God and unchanging faith will struggled deeply with such an approach to faith. ( Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: a Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2006), 868, Kindle.
A wiki-faith community is a community who deconstructs the normal structures and language of faith and re-signs it to a more authentic and malleable way. This by no means is a cheapening or easing of faith—in my experience—it becomes a more holy, more loftier, more ambitious faith.